Ruby's Reviews > Hate List

Hate List by Jennifer Brown
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Sep 16, 11


A school shooting is a difficult, even impossible, event to imagine. To be part of it in some way and then return to the scene of the crime is unthinkable. This is what Valerie Leftman does in Hate List. And even though she didn’t have anything to do with the shooting, she was a victim of bullying and she helped write the hate list that targeted people at her school. Before she could stop him, her boyfriend, Nick, carried out the shooting and then killed himself. She grieves for him while living with the guilt of having any part in it. I sympathize with Valerie. She faces a huge struggle in moving on with life, forgiving Nick, forgiving herself, and allowing others to forgive her. I’m not sure I would have the courage to do what she did.

Even so, I was torn between judging her and wanting to protect her. I couldn’t help thinking that if I were a parent of a murdered kid or if I was a classmate of hers, I’m not sure I would have been able to forgive her even though she didn’t pull the trigger and even though she tried to stop Nick. As with any senseless shooting, the events leading up to it and the motives of the person and how some one could have done something different to prevent it add up to nothing when it’s all done.
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