Monday, October 26, 2009

The Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Synopsis:  Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.

Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life. - GoodReads

My Thoughts:   Did you hate someone when you were a teenager?  Enough to want them dead?   The Hate List is a poignant and compelling book that delves into the dark reality of victims and perpetrators rampant in most everyone's teenage years. 

This is not normally a book I would like.  I only decided to read it because of a story idea that is taking root in my mind.  I not only liked this book, I had a hard time putting it down.   It is written in the first person point-of-view of Valerie Leftman, girlfriend of the shooter.  Valerie is not always likeable, but I can empathize with her.  The book is an exploration of her life before and after the shooting.  Guilt, forgiveness, bravery are all major themes. Check this book out even if its dark topic is not what you would usually read.  Try it - you won't be disappointed.  
There are a few F-bombs and some other swearing which I don't like, but I suppose it is warranted. 

The Hate List is Jennifer Brown's debut YA novel released Sept. 2009.  For more information about Jennifer and The Hate List or to read the first chapter go here.


Juju at Tales of said...

Great review darling! :)

ali said...

I appreciated your honest review - thanks!

I don't normally read that kind of book either, but I really loved Jodi Picoult's Nineteen Minutes, so the topic must ring true in the darker corners of my consciousness. I bet I'd like this book.

Plus, it's always nice to support newcomers.

Thanks again!

Terresa said...

sounds like a good read. Brings to mind "Chocolate War" by Cormier.

Did you hate someone when you were a teenager? Yes.

Enough to want them dead? No way.

PS: The blog roll on your side bar could keep me busy for days. You've got some great links here!! I'll be back!

Mary said...

ali - thanks for stopping by. I think you would like this book.

Terresa - welcome to my blog. This book was really good - haunting - I'm still thinking about it. Please look at my blog role anytime.