by Jennifer Brown
No one really knows what to make of Valerie. Innocent victim, hero, or accomplice in the murder of several of her classmates? It might have been her boyfriend Nick who pulled the trigger, but she was the one who lived. Now she not only has to recover from a devastating bullet wound, but also learn to make her way in a school where no one trusts her. Where everyone is recovering from losing someone they loved, but she is the one recovering from loving a killer.
School shootings are a sensitive topic, one which Hate List is able to bring up in a very powerful way. The book focuses not only on Valerie as she attempts to heal from the trauma of being shot, but intersperses it with flashbacks to the day of the shooting as she attempts to figure out where everything went so wrong. It all began with a list she made about things she hated, people who were annoying her, but spun so out of control the reader truly empathizes with her and the situation. The book is a great read which focuses on devastating consequences bullying and social seclusion can have.
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Grade Level: 8-9th Grade