Kate's Reviews > Hate List

Hate List by Jennifer Brown
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's review
Jun 22, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2011
Read from June 21 to 22, 2011

Probably it wasn't a good idea to read Hate List right after finishing Columbine by Dave Cullen, but despite the tragic event that really kicks off Hate List, the book is a wonderfully emotional read. From the first page to the last, you find yourself faced with the reality of those left behind after a school shooting. Valerie is not always an easy character to sympathize with, but it's impossible not to connect with her. The media has made a habit of labeling school shooters with a "outcast loser" tag, ignoring the fact that most do not fit this mold. Like the teens in the Columbine shooting, Nick is an outsider but he's not friendless. He has a girlfriend, Valerie, and he has friends, unlike the Columbine shooters, Nick is often the target of bullies. The book focuses on Val's struggle to piece together what happened, what her role was in the shooting, and what and who she is now. I felt that Jennifer Brown did a great job as creating realistic characters, all running a gambit of emotions and fears. Valerie's father, while selfish, self-centered and quite frankly, an ass, is not without his complexities. There are no easy answers in this book, why Nick did what he did, but for the most part the book satisfies the reader.

The cons to this book for me? I felt that the question of Jeremy was never resolved at all, his role in Nick's decision to shoot up his school. I also think that no matter how many witnesses came forward to claim Valerie was not a shooter the cops wouldn't have just stopped questioning her to find out more about who Nick was and what the hate list was about.

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Reading Progress

24.0% "Should I really be reading this on the heels of finishing Columbine?"

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