NCPL Teenzone's Reviews > Hate List

Hate List by Jennifer Brown
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's review
Sep 20, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: book-clubs, realistic, ya
Read from September 28 to October 14, 2010

“Loser.” “You suck.” “Goin’ to a funeral, Sister Death?” “What’re you lookin’ at?”
Have you ever been bullied? Or perhaps you have been the bully? I think most of us would probably answer yes but why? Why is our world so full of hate? Why can’t we all just get along? How come some people get all the luck and all the friends and others seem to be magnets for pain? Why is it so easy to tease or taunt someone who is different and so hard to see them as human?

How can you stop the bullying? Do you stand up for yourself or do you retreat into your own private world? Is there a safe way to release your anger?

What if your release became known to the world and viewed as the motivation for another person’s crime? Are you a victim or a murderer?
Valerie and her boyfriend Nick were sick and tired of being picked on. Valerie began channeling her pain by writing the “Hate List”, a list of people and things she hated. On May 2nd Nick came to school with a gun and killed six people, wounded countless others including Valerie, and then committed suicide. Is it just a coincidence that the targets names appeared on the “Hate List”? Was Valerie involved in the shooting? Did she mean to get shot or was she a hero for interfering and saving others? Will Val ever be able to move forward with her life or will she always be the author of the Hate List?

Why I picked up the book: I've had an advanced reader copy sitting on my shelf for over a year but it just kept getting pushed to the bottom of the stack. Then the book was chosen as one of the 2011 Great Stories CLUB titles.

Why I finished it: Valerie. You can understand her pain and hope she will be able to forgive herself, continue on, and realize high school isn't forever. I also had to find out what happened with her family.

I'd give it to: everyone! Parents, teachers, and teens. Anyone who has ever felt like an outcast, been bullied, or been a bully. Nothing in life is black and white. Everyone needs someone to care about them.

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