Book Review–Hate List by Jennifer Brown


This is the thirteenth (skipping eleventh and twelfth for now) book from my 200 Book Reading Challenge.

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Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Published September 1, 2009

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.


I’ve been wanting to read The Hate List for at least a year. When I was finally able to get it, I wasn’t disappointed. The beautiful writing style immediately hooked and brought me in. The main character felt realistic, likable, and easy to relate to even though we don’t have that much in common.

This is my first book that involves a school shooting. It was horrifying to read about, but at the same time, I couldn’t stop reading because it was so good. I felt so bad for the kids who died and were traumatically effected by the event. The best thing is that these kids felt as real as the main character.

This book isn’t just about a school shooting, though. It’s about learning to deal with something horrible and traumatic. It’s about learning to forgive and change your thinking. I also believe it shows readers that the world isn’t black and white–there’s a lot of gray in between.

The Hate List was one of those books that was hard for me to put down. I couldn’t wait to get back to reading it when I had other things I had to do. It was just that good. When you find a book that you have trouble putting aside even for a small amount of time, that’s magic.

I cannot wait to read more books from this author.

Disclaimer:   These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.




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