Book Review: Hate List

At the end of their junior year, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend pulls a gun in the Commons, leaving six students and a teacher dead and many others wounded. Valerie is hit by a bullet in the leg trying to stop him, just before he ends his own life. Until that point, Valerie had no idea that the "hate list" that she and Nick created would be used to target victims in a vengeful shooting spree. For her, the list of tormentors was a way to ease the pain of being bullied and an outlet against the constant fighting between her parents. Although the police investigation reveals that Valerie had nothing to do with the actual shootings, many people in her community, including her parents, have a hard time believing that she is not at fault, too. With the help of a patient and insightful therapist, Valerie bravely returns to school after the summer to face the challenges before her. (from Amazon.com)


This book was really good. It was written from Valerie's perspective being the girlfriend of the high school shooter. Once I found out about this book I had to read it. Growing up in Denver, not too far from Littleton, I took the whole Columbine thing real hard. For weeks it was all I could read about wanting to know every detail of how these two boys did this, how no one knew what they were planning. This book gives a little insight into how that could happen. However, this book isn't as much about the school shooter as it is about Valerie and her recovery afterwards. I wanted more though, I wanted to know more about the boy who did the shooting, more about the actual Hate List. That information was lacking. There are a few flashback moments where Valerie talks about her boyfriend and their normal relationship and the bullies, still I wanted more. It is a great book in the aspect of her struggle with her feelings about loving this boy and hating what he did. The book was a realistic protrayal of life a family dealing with life after a tragedy, a tragedy that the main character was involved in and the effect it had on her family. I'm not going to say this is a must read for every teenager and parent alike, isn't not, but it is a good book about overcoming tragedy.


Betty: Reflections with Coffee said...

Got this book today in the mail. Great review.

Sara said...

I loved this book. It was difficult but totally engrossing.

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