Saturday, May 22, 2010

Book of the Week

Hate List by Jennifer Brown is one of the best YA books I've read in a long time. Well, I should temper this by saying that it's one of the best realistic YA books I've read for a long time (because I'm currently reading Libba Bray's Going Bovine and I adore it!) I really, really want to the girls in the Chick Lit Book Club to read this title next year because it will provoke some great discussion.

This book is centered around a school shooting. The story is narrated by Valerie, who survived the shooting, but whose boyfriend was the shooter. He committed suicide after killing several classmates and a teacher. One of the worst parts of this situation for Valerie is that she (somewhat) inspired the killings with her "Hate List"--A list of peers and teachers whom she "hated" because of the way that they had bullied and treated her and her boyfriend.

Now, Valerie is without her boyfriend/ best friend and is hated by most everyone in the school. For a variety of reasons, she chooses to go back to her high school and face her classmates and teachers. Some treat her as if she pulled the trigger, but there are a couple of surprising people who come to her defense.

This is an emotional and realistic read, but important in this post-Columbine world. There is no way, in my opinion, to understand violence and hatred, but if we talk about it openly, there may be room for a variety of viewpoints and life experiences to come through. And, the book is well-written and could serve as a great vehicle for book club discussions!

1 comment:

13ks13 said...

I have also read this book and this book I would advise people to read to it is a lovely book. I hate how there is so much blood involved and why people hate her for trying to help some of her friends jsut because its her bf shes the one that gets punished for it to. I dont think that is right. But i am veary glad I got to read the book