And it actually seems like ages since I've done a review, (even though it hasn't been long, really), so I was really looking forward to doing one!
So today I will be doing a review of Hate List, by Jennifer Brown!
I hope you enjoy the review, and here it is:
Hate List, by Jennifer Brown
Author: Jennifer Brown
Genre: Contemporary, I guess this falls into, but it's hardly that, with it's subject matter
Release date: 1st September, 2009
Blurb: "The list was my idea.
I didn't want anyone to die.
I didn't mean to be a hero.
Will you ever forgive me?"
This book was interesting to say the least. It's interesting to see a school not know quite what to do next when a boy comes in with a gun, intend of shooting the people on a mystery list that him and his girlfriend has cooked up, only for his girlfriend to jump in front of one of those people, getting shot in the process, and then he turns the gun on himself. Now, the act itself wasn't interesting. It was damn horrifying. But what was interesting about it was how the world reacted to the event as a whole, almost a year after the actual event.
This story is about a girl called Valerie who, a year after her boyfriend walked into school, killing people on a list that had been her idea, is about to go back to the same school. And what the book is about is how everyone seems to have conflicting sides to this argument because on one point, she is guilty by association, because she created this list. And on the other hand, she is also the person that stopped the shooting, after Nick (the shooter) went for someone she was supposed to hate. And what was done really well was surprising the reader by what side different people were on, especially where Valerie was concerned.
Another thing that was done really well in this book was characters. There was just something in these characters that got a rise out of me for some reason. I loved Valerie, the protagonist. She is quite alike to me, so that probably made it a lot easier to relate to her than someone who isn't alike to her, but when people who didn't even try to understand her position in all this, it just got a rise out of me. Sorry, this book just had me invested from the very first page.
Because Valerie is nothing less than 100% realistic from the get-go. Even though the incident was near enough half a year ago, Valerie is, at the start of the book, starting to piece together the Nick that she fell in love with, the Nick that was sweet and kind and would do absolutely anything for her; and the Nick that was so full of hatred that he would open fire of all the people he hated. And you really feel for Valerie, because throughout the whole thing she is blaming herself for the destruction of the school, because how could she have been so blind as to not realise that he was serious when they talked of things such as suicide and murder?
But what I really liked about Valerie is that she's trying to get through the year, and is just about as dumbfounded as the rest of the world about what happened, despite the fact that most of the characters, including her own parents, are blaming her for the shooting. But Valerie was a big part of why I liked this book so much.
Excluding the characters, nothing much happened in this book that didn't involve them, which I didn't have a problem with at all. The characters, and their individual journeys, were more than enough to make the story interesting and unique. Somehow, their individual journeys tied together to make one hell of a story, and a story I am very glad I took the time to read.
So overall, this book was sad, and desperate, and conflicting, and thought provoking. I wish this book was on the required reading list for every teenager, because it was so truthful in the portrayal of what it is to be a teenager. Actually, this book kind of changed the way I thought about what kids go through when in high-school because as much as I thought it was just me that was suffering with being an outcast, all a kid wants is feel comfortable in their own skin, regardless of what is going on.
In short, I think everybody should read this book, (anyone over the age of 17), because the entire book is just amazing, and so well written.
Totally recommend this.
So that is my review of Hate List, by Jennifer Brown! I know it kind of cut off bluntly at the end, but I couldn't think of anything else to say!
So I hope you enjoyed my review, and if you have any thoughts, let me know in the comments below!
I hope you have a wonderful day, and I will see you on Monday!