by Jennifer Brown
Published: September 1st 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Borrowed from 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.
*MAY CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS*
Hate List will leave you stunned, that I can most certainly guarantee.
I wish this book was mandatory to read in school, because this is such a realistic portrayal of a such a difficult subject.
I loved how the author didn't try to sensationalize the school shooting or try to idolize the shooter. She manages to describe the life after shooting so lifelike you wouldn't believe it.
This is a heartbreaking story you wish you'll never have to witness, but just to read about.
Do you remember those freaks in your school, those who used to be bullied, but they just give you the finger like they couldn't care less?
The ones with the black clothes and all, so they really must be freaks?
Well, this is story about those freaks. And bullying. And what it's like after everything goes horribly wrong.
Nick and Val are perfectly happy. Or so Val believed, before Nick came to school with a gun and started shooting people. The people from their hate list.
After that, Val was left behind to face the consequences. Even though she didn't do anything wrong, just got shot herself while saving an enemy.
This book was so horrible, in a good way though. It was awful to see how Val was treated, given that she's just been shot and she lost love of her life. And everyone thinks she's a murderer, which really doesn't help!
Of course, it's understandable, but it's still not fair.
I don't want to spoil this book, because you definitely need to read this yourself. It's a hard book to read, but it's definitely worth it.
And like I mentioned earlier, I wish that every parent and every kid would read this.
This book will make you think about those days you were in school, whether you were a cheerleader or a freak. I was one of those freaks in black clothes. I was one of those who had to stand bullying every day for years. I was also one of those freaks who wrote hate lists.
But there's a difference between freaks too, some of them write hate lists, some of them act on it.
I don't know any school shooters, but I know many people, who hurt themselves. One 13 year old boy got so sick and tired of bullying that he rather shoot himself than go to school ever again.
Most of the guys I dated as a teenager had at least once considered shooting themselves.
Even Finland has school shootings. And school stabbings. And school-add-any-violent-action. I remember one time, when that "freak in black clothes" started shooting in school. In Finland. Everyone were shocked and started blaming his parents and how he played too much games (WoW and CoD are classics in this kind of scenario) and he listened to heavy metal and those were the reasons he did what he did.
People all over the country started sending hate mail to his parents, telling they should've been tougher parents and not some stupid ass hippies. After little while, they moved away somewhere, nobody really knows.
I get that people are angry, and if the shooter is dead, you can't really blame him. But people also should realize that shooters do have families, friends etc., and they also lost someone in the shooting. And the shooters should also stop being selfish and think about the guilt and anger they leave for their close ones to deal with.
I know, I know, this isn't much of a review anymore. But this is the reason why I loved this book. Maybe it can give some idiot bully reason not to bully someone anymore. Or stop a bullied from doing anything stupid. Everyone just stop being stupid :) Because there definitely is a life after high school, you just have to believe it. I told myself everyday that it can't get worse than this, soon I'll graduate and get the hell out of this hillbilly village. And I was right! :)
I know, it sounds lame and time goes slow. But while waiting graduating, read this book and think about the consequences.
And now it's out of my system, to happier thoughts! :)