Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Fresh New Voice of YA- Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Hate List by Jennifer Brown
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.
I absolutely loved this book- it is a compelling, fascinating read that grips you from the beginning and holds you close until the very end. The book is divided into four parts, with the second part dealing with the day of the shooting though there are some small excerpts from that day during the first part. It's an extremely emotional story and really makes the reader think about their own interactions with people and how you don't always know everything that's going on in someone's head. What really fascinated me about the novel was the fact that it was about a school shooting- before, during, and after- and that kind of thing interests me, like what brings a person to that point and all that. Even though this is about a school shooting, it's not plot-driven at all; it's really more character-based and focuses on the relationships between all the characters rather than focusing on events to move the plot forward. This is simply a fantasticly written debut and would definitely go on my list of Top 5 Books of 2009 (which I may do once the year is over). So go out and buy it!