Friday, June 30, 2017

Hate List

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 1:16 PM

Age: Adult / Young Adult
Category: Contemporary
Rating: 4 stars

Rosie Thinks: This book honestly scared me. Everyone has those thoughts some time in their lives, the 'I wish this person was dead' but not truly meaning it. For Valerie, the MC of this book, she never meant it. But her boyfriend did.

The story starts when Valerie is returning to school, months after her boyfriend came in and shot students according to a 'hate list' they'd both put together, then shot himself. Val is racked with guilt, but is determined to finish her final year. Half the town thinks she's a hero for accidentally saving a classmate, and the rest think she was in on it. Even her family and closest friends have taken sides. So you can imagine just how intense and emotional of a read this was!

Rather than being about the shooting, though, this story is more about Val. Almost everyone we meet in the story is against her, and Brown truly delved into the minds of all the characters. There's not a single one-dimensional character to be seen! The story explores the good and the very ugly in people, in an unapologetic and, at times, hopeless light that I found enthralling. I was seriously sucked into Val's journey, and I love how she was the one forcing herself to get back on her two feet and stand up for herself, not anyone else. She truly found herself and it was one of the most awesome character growths I've read, because it was solely on her own. She's a character that is easy to connect with, and I could feel her hurt and guilt and loneliness as if it were my own.

This book went far further than just the black and white. One of the most interesting aspects is that Valerie still loves her boyfriend. The author doesn't paint him as purely an evil person. Instead, through flashbacks, we see Nick through Valerie's eyes, and see not only the warning signs, but the reasons why she loved him. All together, it turned this book into a powerful, thought-provoking read.


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