Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Published: Sept 2009
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Pages: 405
Copy Provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads


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.

Violence in the community. It is all around us and we often point fingers and judge but when you start to peel back the layers and learn about the people involved, it isn't always so black and white. This was such a powerful book. I had seen it on the shelves and walked by over and over again. I hate to say it but I really chose not to read it because I didn't like the cover. One day, I decided to branch out and try. I'm so glad I did.

Hate List was such a compelling book. Val and Nick created this list to share between themselves as an outlet for their feelings of being ostracized and criticized for being different. Nick just chose to take it one step further. Val's return back to society is a long climb and she encounters a mix of both positive and negative experiences and has to learn to re-integrate herself back into society and deal with the intense feelings of guilt that she carries. It doesn't help that she still loves Nick, someone who has now been characterized as a heartless murderer. She is seen as both a villian and a hero in the shooting and I loved watching her grow. Yes, it is another story about coming into your own and growing up.

If you enjoyed Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Piccoult, you might like this as well. This book made me cry....but in a good way. Let's see if it does the same for you.


  1. Now, I have to go out and get it. Ugh LOL. I need to put money back for this.

  2. I really liked this book a lot. There was a lot going on in Val's life. The recounting of the school shooting was really haunting, especially when he turned the gun on himself.

  3. Najela - I agree. This book was just so jampacked with volatile emotions. If you've ever been bullied, you can definitely identify with why Val and Nick may have wanted to create the list.

    Frantic Mother - ha! ha! You should just save a bit of money and visit your library instead (wink). That's the only way Curlypow and I are not broke from book buying right now...

  4. I have really Small library. I live in a town with a little over 5000 people. I have gone a few times and got books, but I always end up worrying that I am going to turn them in late. I am really bad about dead lines. LOL. I like to collect books so that is another reason why I prefer to buy. LOL. I have too many books, so many in fact that my book shelf broke yesterday! LOL. I have to get a bigger better one next time I get paid

  5. I actually want to read this book because it reminds me of Nineteen Minutes, which is one of my favorites.