If you make it through high school without seriously loathing at least a couple of your fellow classmates, you might be abnormal. Valerie and Nick take pen to paper and detail all their loathing in the Hate List. The Hate List becomes a way of expressing their daily annoyances -- the girl who called Val "Sister Death" winds up on the list, the teacher that gives Nick detention, straight to the Hate List, Val's dad for being, well, a regular annoying dad, -- all on the Hate List. For Valerie, it was never supposed to go any further than the two of them. For Nick, it was a weapon, and the people on the list were the first to go when he began his shooting spree. Months after the sickening display of violence, Valerie is going to return to the school where her boyfriend killed and injured her classmates, before shooting himself. Valerie herself was also a victim of the shooting, having suffered a gunshot wound.
Valerie is a victim, but she is seen as one of the perpetrators of the crime as well. Her fellow students know about the Hate List, and many are not ready to forgive her for the role she played in Nick's crime.
The most moving part of this novel is the progression of Valerie's character, who is so filled with darkness after the shooting. In addition to dealing with the loss of her boyfriend, she has to deal with her own feelings of guilt, and the impact the shooting had on her classmates and her family. Highly recommended, especially for those who like books about outsiders
Review by Ali Blau
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