Hate List by Jennifer Brown


Val’s boyfriend Nick opened fire on their cafeteria one morning five months prior to the story’s start. Val was shot trying to stop him and ended up saving a classmate’s life in the process. It’s uncovered that Val, although not responsible, helped create a “hate list” of people she and Nick wanted dead; however to her it was a joke and a way to cope with her life’s struggles. The book tells the story of what happened after Val returns to school to face her last year.

Things I enjoyed:

  • Dr. Heiler. the man seriously wanted to do nothing but help Val.
  • how Val found a different coping mechanism that was healthier.
  • the time capsule. i feel like this was a good way for people to say goodbye.
  • what Jessica added into the time capsule at the end as to say that even though Nick did open fire on the cafeteria, he and Val were also victims.
  • Ginny. how responsible she felt. how she helped Val move on. her struggles to move on. she was a very real character.

Things I didn’t enjoy:

  • how the book dragged in the beginning as it was going back and forth between the present and the past
  • the newspaper segments at the start of certain chapters. they seemed randomly scattered and didn’t fit the chapters. I like the concept of the newspaper articles, but I feel like the they could have been done better
  •  deciding that the end of the book should be putting Val on a train to wherever. it didn’t make any sense to me.

Overall, this was a hard book to read context wise and the emotional journey that took place left me thinking. I gave this book 4/5 stars.

Find the book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7893725-hate-list


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