Thursday, November 28, 2013

Hate List

My goal is to read 100 books by the end of 2013.  I just finished book 83.

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Summary (via the book jacket):
Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria.  Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create.  A list of people and things she and Nick hated.  The list he used to pick his targets.
Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year.  Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends, and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.

My Opinion:
When a mass shooting occurs, I think of the loved ones of the perpetrators, especially the moms.  They have very real grief but are isolated, judged, and blamed while the world demonizes their loved one.  
The author tackled a delicate, unpopular perspective, and did it well.  Valerie loved Nick and is trying to reconcile her horror at what he did with her love for the boyfriend he was.  She feels anger - at Nick for doing it, her friends and family for abandoning her (oh my heart ached for the way her parents treated her), and the world for blaming her.  Yet she can't completely discount their thoughts because she also feels guilty and blames herself for not seeing the signs and stopping him.
On the YA spectrum, this is closer to the "young" side than the "adult" side, but it was a solid, interesting read.

Quote from the Book:
"You were beloved, son.  You were my beloved.  Even after all of this, I still remember the beloved you.  I can't forget."

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