Author: Jennifer Brown
Publish date: 2009
Source: Classroom library
"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)
I don't really know how to explain my feelings about Hate List. I didn't love the book, but I didn't dislike it, and it's hard to pinpoint exactly what I liked and didn't like. I'll do my best to break it down!
What I liked:
1. The title. Hate List is short, but powerful. I like that you learn just from the blurb what it means and how it fits into the story.
2. The past and present narration. I liked reading about Valerie's feelings before and after the shooting.
3. The newspaper articles. I liked reading the reporter's take on the victims and what happened that day. It was a nice change of pace from just Valerie's POV.
What I didn't like:
1. I felt like I couldn't really connect with Valerie and Nick. I don't think I was supposed to connect with Nick (maybe?), but I don't know. I didn't dislike Val as a main character, but I never quite liked her. Basically I felt that the same way about the book as I felt about Val.
2. I didn't like everything else that happened besides the shooting, like Valerie's parents issues and them pretty much hating her. It was just too much going on in one book.