Isamlq's Reviews > Hate List

Hate List by Jennifer Brown
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Sep 06, 2010

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Read on August 04, 2012

Powerful subject, this. Yet, there’s still something lacking. Most of the people here felt totally black or white to me (save Valerie, though). Take the bullies, they’re beautiful and popular and disgustingly mean spirited. Take their victims, who’re all on the fringe. But more than that, what of her friends who are not there. Who distance themselves her and prove to her just how alone she was. Or that mystery bad person who drags Nick lower, where was he in all of this? It’s like one mention of something and that’s it. We’re told and we must accept. I simply hate mentions of one thing or another with no follow up.

The same cannot be said for her family though. Her parents are a disaster. This is clear. The almost unbearable caution of one; then indifference and later harshness by the other… well, that she turns up the way she feels rootless is no surprise. So, when she discovers her mother’s changing feelings for her as well as her father’s , I was absolutely crushed for her. I attempt to see where they’re coming from to this moment and I.STILL .DON’T.GET.THEM. Unforgivable, is all. Her brother was an interesting addition. Good brother, present brother… loyal, but how things eventually turn up, even more crushing.

As to Valerie and Nick, the pair of them~ not that easy to peg. First Nick, more than the perpetrator of the unspeakable, but not just the bullied victim either. In her memories he is romantic and her safe haven. Then Valerie, who is immature and does unwise things, but is so desperate for her place with someone; and she finds that place with him… and doesn’t think things through. So, does she play a part in what had happened? YES. But is she a victim, too? YES, as well. She is in particular is hard to peg because every negative thing she’s called out? Those were true, too. Her father, brother, Nick’s best friend calling her selfish? There was truth to that. But, Bea and her Doctor calling her brave? There’s truth to that too.

My Favorite: Her being told, repeatedly, simply, to look… and to see what was really there.


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