Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Like I would be happy about going back to school. About stepping back into those haunted halls. Into the commons, where the world as I knew it had crashed to an end last May. Like I hadn’t been having nightmares about that place every single night and waking up sweaty, crying, totally relieved to be in my room again where things were safe.
The school couldn’t decide if I was hero or villain, and I guess I couldn’t blame them. I was having a hard time deciding that myself. Was I the bad guy who set into motion the plan to mow down half my school, or th hero who sacrificed herself to end the killing? Some days I felt like both. Some days I felt like neither. It was all so complicated. (6-7)

Valerie Leftman was a normal teenager until her boyfriend decided to bring a gun to school and shoot up the school. Originally implicated because of a “Hate List” that she and Nick created together of things and people they hated, she was cleared because of the words of classmates who said she didn’t shoot anyone. Hailed a hero by the school because she inadvertently saved the life of a classmate trying to stop Nick, her classmates see her as a contributing factor. As her social life and family life spirals out of control as a result of the shooting, she must deal with not only the feelings of her classmates, but also her own mixed up feelings about the shooting and the shooter. Hate List is a riveting read by first time author Jennifer Brown.


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