Publisher: Little Brown for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 405 Pages
Reason: Personal Interest
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon
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.
“In a way, Nick had been right: We all got to be winners sometimes. But what he didn't understand was that we all had to be losers, too. Because you can't have one without the other.” --Valerie
I am a huge fan of Jennifer Brown and have even had the chance to chat with her on my blog. I have read all of her books, except for the book that started it all, her debut novel, The Hate List. I've had this book sitting on my shelf since it's release...What the heck was wrong with me? What took me so long?!
Reading The Hate List took me on a very emotional ride. Firstly, let me talk about Valerie's parents. There were moments that I just couldn't handle them...at all! I wanted to shake sense into her Mother, and her father was just terrible. I cannot relate to the horrible tragedy that surrounds the story of this book, but I'd like to think that I would help my daughter grieve and move on from it, and not blame and belittle her.
Jennifer Brown is famous for writing though-provoking YA novels that tackle tough and real issues. The Hate List is exactly that. This book raised so many questions for me; some answered, while others left me completely stumped. What would I do? How would I handle this? and so on. I finished this novel over a week ago, and my head is still reeling. I love a novel that leaves me with so much to think about!
Valerie was a character that had many sides. She was trying to grieve while trying to move on. She was still in love and yet filled with hate. She was strong yet vulnerable. She was independent but still needed guidance. She was such a bold character and she left in me in tears by the end.
Although The Hate List was published in 2010, it still speaks very true to today. Especially during the recent tragedies we are dealing with: San Bernadino and the Paris attacks to name a few. The Hate List will raise awareness about the bullying epidemic and gun control laws. Although it characters are fictional, the subject matter is very true in our world.
The Hate List was a haunting novel but had a beautiful undertone to it. It faces a lot of tragedy and darkness but the light at the end of the tunnel remains in sight. It is a novel about facing tragedy head on and moving on with everything that you have. A one of a kind read! Although I read it late, it was an epic debut novel. I am so glad I finally read it and would not only highly recommend this novel but every Jennifer Brown novel!