Thursday, April 26, 2012

Review - Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Book Summary from Amazon

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 Review - 4 1/2 stars

A great YA read, one of my favourites actually, either they are not my cup of tea or I really enjoy them.  Amazing characters, real family and teenage issues, school situations, tragedy, forgiveness, counseling sessions, overall really great.  One thing I enjoy about YA is when parents are included, I may have thought the parents sucked but they were a true part of the storyline.  The father was beyond selfish, this surprised me as he was a professional, a lawyer, and he didn't assist his daughter, shocking.
The format took a little getting used to but I did enjoy going from present day back to the May 2nd incident day.  And the book was in parts, great thoughout flow.  The newspaper reports thrown in showed the impact of how many were killed or victimsm this was a dynamic style.  The media was confronted near the end which was a great ending, briging closure to the book and the characters.

Sometimes when you don't like a character you don't enjoy the book but these characters were done so well it gave the book fulfillment.  Teenagers must be the hardest to figure out and relate to, Jennifer Brown did a great job.

I would highly recommend this one to young adults, think it is an important read.  A book that can be used to understand Bullying and the consequences.  I enjoyed it more than Speak and I know many think that is a must read.  Hate List had me crying at the end, wow.

Some favourite quotes:

People do it all the time - assume that they 'know' what's going on in someon else's head.  That's impossible.  And to think it's possible is a mistake.  A really big mistake.  A life-ruining one if you're not careful. 7% on Kindle

And that's how it started:  the infamous Hate List.  Started as a joke. A way to vent frustration.  But it grew into something else I'd never have guessed.  31% on Kindle

"Life isn't fair.  A fair's a place where you eat corn dogs and ride the Ferris wheel."
      "I hate it when you say that."
      "So do my kids."  49% on Kindle

"One's my favorite number," Bea giggled.  "The word won being the past tense of win, and we can all say at the end of the day that we've won once again, can't we? Some days making it to the end of the day is quite the victory."
...................One, Won, One hour.  Junst one.  Won.  I tossed the words around in my head.  66% on Kindle

"Just like there's always time for pain, there's always time for healing.  67% on Kindle


  1. I know what you mean about YA, so I try to be careful in my selections. This one sounds really good!

  2. Good review - not a book I'd normally choose but this makes it sound intriguing

  3. Hmm never read this one before, but I know how you are picky with your YA reads so I think I definitely should pick this up :)

    1. I'm surprised you haven't read it Jillian, I do think you will enjoy it.

  4. i read a review of this one last year and thought the premise was intriguing! i kept meaning to add it to my tbr list but soon forgot - off to do that now!

  5. Glad you like this one! I read this a while back and gave it 3.5. Prob because I had just read a non-fiction about school shooting not long before this book, so that may have skewed my perspective somewhat.

    I think it's a book I would have appreciated differently if I were a parent.

    My review:

    1. Christa, I recently read We Need to Talk about Kevin and had to remember it was YA, I didn't think I should compare. Will go read your review now.

  6. This sounds quite interesting, offering a perspective on 'after' rather than 'before'
    Thanks for bringing it to my attention

  7. I haven't heard of this one before. I have avoided most fiction books that have to do with school shootings because I lived in a community affected by a school shooting years ago (the one in Springfield, Oregon). I have been meaning to read Columbine though, I just haven't worked up the nerve yet.

  8. I love the quotes. Especially the 1st one.

  9. What a topic! I'm impressed that Brown was able to write about such a sensitive topic and do it well. You have definitely piqued my interest!

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  11. I'm picky about YA because I read so few, but your review makes me think I'd like this one.
    It's been a little while since I've stopped by (hope it doesn't become a habit) and I love your new colors!


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