Jennifer's Reviews > Hate List

Hate List by Jennifer Brown
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's review
May 05, 2012

it was ok
Read in May, 2012

I found this book last night and just finished it this afternoon. I found it completely riveting. There were some very intense scenes that left me in tears. I just found myself wishing the author had pushed it further.

**Some spoilerish material below:

First, I'm in agreement with other reviewers that Valerie's parents were horrible people. Secondly, so were the bullies. They were horrible, awful people. Of course that doesn't justify shooting them, BUT no one ever addresses the fact of the bullying precipitating the shootings. The principal was supposed to be a man who was all about appearances, but despite beefing up security and adding bullet-proof doors to classrooms, never did anything like hold assemblies and have motivational speakers come in and talk about bullying or positive thinking or any of the other topics like that. One student finally asks Valerie why she was on the list, but NO ONE else ever tries to understand where all the rage and hate came from. No one talked about the fact that one of the victims physically harassed Valerie on the morning of the shootings and broke her MP3 player.

I was really, really annoyed by the amount of expectations put on Valerie. Everyone kept calling her selfish and demanding that she understand their points of view, but no one ever tried to understand hers. Her mother was more concerned about how she could have "given birth to such a monster" than she was about what she had done to make her daughter put her parents on her hate list. The one teacher on the list, Mrs. Tenille, had the potential of being a GREAT character, but she was only mentioned once. I think quite a lot could have been done with that relationship, as well as with others.

I don't think I would want a sequel to this book--I was fine with the way it ended. What I want is a "director's cut"! I want the author to go back in and push harder and deeper and force the community to deal with their own culpability rather than a) blame Valerie; b) demand Valerie understand them without reciprocating; and c) ignore the fact that many of their "innocent victims" (and intended victims) had no problem destroying Valerie and Nick on a daily basis.

I also want the parents to be forced to undergo therapy, too. They should have to answer for being such terrible people.
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