The Story is About + young adult

The Hate List by Jennifer Brown

The Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Release Date: September 1, 2009
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 416
From: publisher
Interest: debut author

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.
Three words: Powerful, thought-provoking, & riveting.

The story intitially jumps between the actual shooting in May and then following September when, Valerie is preparing to head back to school. Then it focuses on Valerie's senior year and the after math of the shooting itself. It's also laced with newspaper articles throughout the first half or so. These aspects really added a certain dynamic to the novel, and made it one that particularly stands out in my mind.

The narrative of this novel is so very compelling. It's definitely more of a character driven novel than plot driven, but for this particular situation it works really well. Valerie's guilt is depicted in a very realistic way, her struggle with her own identity, and her struggle to truly understand her feelings for Nick. It's just heartbreaking.

This is definitely a topic that needs to be discussed and explored.

A fantastically written, character driven novel, that you will not soon forget.

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The Hate List by Jennifer Brown + young adult