4.0 out of 5 stars How do you go on after your boyfriend goes on a shooting rampage?, November 2, 2009
By Denise "DC" (Missouri, USA) - See all my reviews
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This was an excellent YA novel about the aftermath of a school shooting. The protagonist, Valerie, was the girlfriend of the shooter and has to live with the consequences of being known as his ally and as the co-author of the "hate list" that instigated the bloodshed. Was she involved? Did she know he was going to do this?
Valerie returns to high school the fall after the shootings. She is shunned and feared, but tries to continue on. She's been in therapy and she's working through the feelings she has about her boyfriend Nick -- the guy she loved vs the boy who shot her classmates. How did she not know that he was planning this?
This is a well done novel about the aftermath of school violence. How people adapt, change, come to terms with the senseless act. The reactions of enemies, friends, family -- it's all here. There are no pat answers and Valerie isn't magically cured. The violent act changes everyone.
Taken From princessbookie.com
My Thoughts: I've been sitting here looking at this page for a while now, trying to come up with the right words for this review. Hate List is like nothing I've ever read before. We are introduced to Valerie and her boyfriend Nick. Valerie is your average high school student; quiet, somewhat dorky, and gets made fun of. Her boyfriend ranks on the same social level as her. This story is told in flashbacks and present time chapters. Nick and Valerie start a hate list, a notebook in which they write peoples names who they do not like or have made fun of them. Its just a simple idea to make themselves feel better. Valerie doesn't think anything serious will have come off it, its just a way to vent off steam.
One day at school Nick shows up. Valerie tells him about a classmate breaking her ipod and Nick goes up to her, pulls out a gun, and starts shooting. As stunned as Valerie is, she jumps in front of another girl (the girl she detests the most) and tells Nick to Stop!! He hurts many students, including Valerie, and then fires the gun on himself.
Valerie is devastated, she never saw this coming. Yes her and Nick talked about suicide, being mad at others, but it was never supposed to be serious. They were "just talking." Valerie has to go back to school the following year and face her demons. She has to graduate and suffer through senior year with everyone looking at her.
This story is amazing. We feel like we are really there experiencing this tragedy. Valerie is shunned, nobody wants anything to do with her, they figure since she was Nick's girlfriend she was in on it and she deserves the same fate he got. Its hard to sum up why this book was so amazing. I was sad because of all the student's deaths, I was just flat out emotional.
If this book is sad, why should I read it? Its the kind of sad that makes you really think about life and whats important. Its not just sad, its also heart-wrenching and you will never see the people who stick by Valerie coming. She does make new friends. You get to see how her family treats her and her therapist. You get to understand Nick a little bit more and realize why he did what he did. As much as I wanted to cry throughout this book its one of those books that even though you know bad things are going to happen, you can't stop yourself from reading.
I recommend this book to anyone who has ever went to high school or lived through any kind of violence at school. Anyone who has been picked on by the bully or has been the bully!
Overall: I loved this one. Yes, it was emotional but it was also really great. The last few pages I did have tears rolling down my cheeks but honestly I'm not sure if they were good or bad tears. Definitely have the Kleenex ready.
Cover: I really like it. I like the black and white aspect of it.
Reviewed by Karin Librarian for TeensReadToo.com
Valerie is alone. Her family tiptoes around her, her friends act like she doesn't exist, and most of the people in the community think she should be dead.
Valerie's boyfriend, the person she trusted more than anyone else, shattered her life when he brought a gun to school and wounded several students and killed many others, including himself. Most people believe Valerie was involved, but she had no idea what Nick was planning.
After spending weeks in the hospital recovering from a near-fatal gunshot wound to the leg, Valerie is moved to the psychiatric ward for observation. Afterwards, during her many therapy sessions, she begins to think back on her relationship with Nick and all the events that led up to the terrible act that changed an entire community.
HATE LIST is an extremely powerful story. I was in tears for the last eighty pages and felt emotionally drained by the time I reached the last page. Jennifer Brown has given us a wonderful example of the importance of keeping a watchful eye out for bullying in our schools.
Valerie is a strong character and it was great to witness her healing process. Once I started HATE LIST I couldn't stop. I read every chance I could. Even though the subject matter is very serious, this book was a pleasure to read.
Thank you, Ms. Brown.
An intense, emotional story, but not in the way I expected. (By the end of the book, I was in tears.) I did not like the way the book started, with all of the flashbacks, but once the story moved into the present and stayed there, I became interested in the main character (Valerie) and it was hard to put the book down.
Hate List is an extremely hard core book. It is very good, though, and you can relate to the tears and pain no matter what your background. It shows us what can really happen in today's high schools, and how the feeling of hate can be taken too far...