Book Review: Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Hey my lovelies, today's review is the Hate List by Jennifer Brown. I originally got the Hate List, early on last year, but the fact that its about such a serious issue (the shooting), I admit it put me off reading the book. But now reading it I don't know why I waited so long, because this book was good. So good.

Title: Hate List
Author: Jennifer Brown
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Pub. Date: September 1st 2009
Date Read: Wednesday 27th April 2016
Pages:  405
Rating:4.75/5 stars
Goodreads SummaryFive 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.


The Hate List was such a thought provoking book, as it makes you look back on things that you have said recently that maybe was slightly harsh, or if you have ever lead someone on to believe that you do want someone dead, when in reality you don't. As most of us are guilty of doing it. Jokingly wishing a teacher or another student dead. Or bitching about other students at least. As it is very rare that we actually truly mean it. Even if we wouldn't necessarily be upset if something did happen to them. Which sounds very bad when I read what I've typed. We would still feel guilty that we ever thought about hurting them and if we were actually the cause I'm not sure how I would be able to cope in this situation.


Another thing I enjoyed was that there was no one dimensional characters, every character had their own reasons behind all of their decisions which was made clear with other people wondering if Valerie is a victim or if she was one of the murderers. And how the people that you would expect to have stood by Valerie didn't and the people never expected to did. It was also interesting to see how people blame others in order to cope with their own guilt. Valerie is made to be such a sympathetic character and not in a annoying way, which was such a nice change. Nick, Valerie's boyfriend and the shooter was also shown not as just a mindless evil killer villain, but also as a still insane but a almost understandable character. As I understand why he did it, just not why he actually went through with it. My personal favourite character was -- as I liked that she had the guts to stand with exactly what she believed in and strive to get exactly what she wanted, no matter what happened to her in the past, as she ignored her schools social norms to be herself.


The Hate List is predominately split into 4 sections, part 1 deals with Valerie going back to school and flashbacks to the morning before and during the shooting. Part 2 is Valerie dealing with the immediate aftermath of the shooting, this is both physically and mentally, as not only mentally dealing with the fact that her boyfriend went and shot the popular crowd of her school but also her own injuries from the shooting. Part 3 shows Valerie getting accepted more, but still feeling guilty herself. And part 4 is Valerie slowly learning how to accept herself again, even through the guilt. 

Would I recommend it?

I recommend this to everyone. Yes everyone, the story was so well written and even though I have never been in that situation, the characters were incredibly relatable. And it was everything I wanted it to be. 

Thank you for reading my lovelies, this is it for this week, if you would like to see more of what I am currently reading you can check me out on GoodreadsInstagram and Twitter

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