Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hate List Review

A few weeks ago, I finished Hate List by Jennifer Brown. I really enjoyed the book and thought the story was wonderfully evoked, but it wasn’t really all that challenging of a read. However, the book was great! I finished it in about a day and a half, and have thought about the issues in it lots since.

In the story, Valerie was the victim of a mass shooting carried out by her boyfriend. Nick, the boyfriend, targeted people on the “hate list” of people that annoyed Valerie and him. Valerie has to go back to school and face people who think that the shooting was her fault, deal with her family’s problems, and try to sort out her own feelings about the incident.

I really liked the plot and how the author related to things that are important to teenagers today. The plot moved at a good pace and there were always twists that kept you reading, like when Valerie discovers an art studio or befriends a former enemy. Brown mentions mp3 players and cell phones, things synonymous today with being a teenager. This book is reminiscent of the Columbine shooting, so it is relates to things that really have happened, and to me this makes it a much more interesting read.

I didn’t really like the level at which this book was written. It was a pretty easy read, so even though the topics in the book were fairly profound, I didn’t feel extremely challenged while reading it. The vocabulary was decent in most of the book, but not of the caliber that I think should be expected of young adults.

I would recommend this book to any age teenager. There is some language and under-age drinking, but this is something most teens know about already. The book, I don’t believe, contains anything that teens haven’t heard about before.

This book reminded me a lot of Speak by Laura Halse Anderson. They are both about teenage girls struggling to cope with a traumatic incident that has alienated them from their peers. Both are good reads.

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