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Hate List Hardcover – September 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316041440
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316041447
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (260 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 8 Up—At the end of their junior year, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend pulls a gun in the Commons, leaving six students and a teacher dead and many others wounded. Valerie is hit by a bullet in the leg trying to stop him, just before he ends his own life. Until that point, Valerie had no idea that the "hate list" that she and Nick created would be used to target victims in a vengeful shooting spree. For her, the list of tormentors was a way to ease the pain of being bullied and an outlet against the constant fighting between her parents. Although the police investigation reveals that Valerie had nothing to do with the actual shootings, many people in her community, including her parents, have a hard time believing that she is not at fault, too. With the help of a patient and insightful therapist, Valerie bravely returns to school after the summer to face the challenges before her. Told by Valerie in then-and-now chapters, with a few "excerpts" from local newspaper articles added for perspective, this is a startling, powerful, and poignant account of the incidents leading up to, immediately following, and continuing through the teen's senior year of realization and recovery. Valerie is stronger than she knows—a beautifully drawn character who has suffered pain, guilt, and incredible stress as she heals from the shooting, the loss of a troubled boyfriend she deeply loved, and difficult family circumstances. Readers drawn to Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why (Razorbill, 2007) and Brooke Taylor's Undone (Walker, 2008) will snap this novel up as well.—Diane P. Tuccillo, Poudre River Public Library District, Fort Collins, CO END

Review

"[A] riveting debut." (starred review)—Publishers Weekly

"Startling, powerful, and poignant." (starred review)—School Library Journal

"This novel ought to be the last written about a fictional high school shooting because it is difficult to imagine any capable of handling it better . . . A story that is as sensitive and honest as it is spellbinding." (starred review)—VOYA

"Authentic and relevant, this debut is one to top the charts."—Kirkus Reviews --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

I was moved to tears at the end of this book.
Britt R.
This book was very well written and the author uses flashbacks to give the reader insight into the story.
Morgan K
I just don't know what else to say except you really need to read this book!
Toni

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 59 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on October 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Gold Star Award Winner!

Valerie is alone. Her family tiptoes around her, her friends act like she doesn't exist, and most of the people in the community think she should be dead.

Valerie's boyfriend, the person she trusted more than anyone else, shattered her life when he brought a gun to school and wounded several students and killed many others, including himself. Most people believe Valerie was involved, but she had no idea what Nick was planning.

After spending weeks in the hospital recovering from a near-fatal gunshot wound to the leg, Valerie is moved to the psychiatric ward for observation. Afterwards, during her many therapy sessions, she begins to think back on her relationship with Nick and all the events that led up to the terrible act that changed an entire community.

HATE LIST is an extremely powerful story. I was in tears for the last eighty pages and felt emotionally drained by the time I reached the last page. Jennifer Brown has given us a wonderful example of the importance of keeping a watchful eye out for bullying in our schools.

Valerie is a strong character and it was great to witness her healing process. Once I started HATE LIST I couldn't stop. I read every chance I could. Even though the subject matter is very serious, this book was a pleasure to read.

Thank you, Ms. Brown.

Reviewed by: Karin Librarian
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Tina on September 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I live in Montreal, where one of the most horrendous school shootings happened over a decade ago. I can tell you that we can still feel this event very deeply.

Reading The Hate List brought me right back to that horrible day when we found out that this madman had walked into a school and just starting shooting all the "feminists" who took his place at the school.

The Hate List is extremely well written and proof of this, in my opinion, is that I felt anger, resentment, fear and every other feeling I could on this topic. This is such a horrible subject matter and the author manages to write about it in a sensitive, yet true and frank way.

I don't know how I feel about the involvement of Valerie - even after finishing the book and interestingly enough, Valerie does not know how to feel either.

This book is a gut wrenching look at a mind gone and how society deals with the aftermath.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Sherree Gorman on September 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hate List by Jennifer Brown is a terrific book on many levels. First, there is the main plot where Valerie Leftman struggles to come to terms with the fact that she was the girlfriend of a school shooter, Nick, whom she had unwittingly abetted in the shooting. This fact leaves her with mixed feelings of guilt and anger. She must also work out her feelings of love and compassion for this boy, whom Brown has painted as a real human being rather than a stereotypically bad individual. Brown artfully engages the reader to journey along with Valerie as she explores and comes to terms with her role in, and the consequential suffering from the shooting.

Secondly, this is a book about teenage angst and real high school tension that takes place in everyday circumstances. Additionally, Valerie has parents that have their own issues and shortcomings. Brown weaves a thread of pain through the family dynamics, as well as the high school dynamics that is realistic and insightful. This gives the reader insight into Valerie's anger as she and Nick create the Hate List as almost an inside joke.

Thirdly, this book is about a process of moving from mental anguish and mental instability to mental health through a few various factors. It takes a knowledgeable and caring therapist. It takes courage from Valerie to take many baby steps to work through the process. It takes persistence from Valerie to not give up when the process was so difficult that it seemed impossible. It also takes a change in focus from Valerie as she must not read too much into each encounter or conversation. Finally, it just takes time as she matures from adolescence into adulthood.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Books and Literature for Teens (BLT) on September 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Hate List is probably one of the most complex and compelling stories ever written about pain and how simple words, thoughts, or gestures can turn into a unthinkable disaster. There's not many books that explore the power of hate and what it can do if you don't understand what you're dealing with. Take a disaster event for example. People become inhuman, and sadly, we test that everyday. If something terrible were to happen in your community, people start to blame. Blame turns into anger, anger turns into hate, etc.This is perfect example of that, and cuts even deeper with a message not only of consequences, but how family life can also shape a situation, or a persons thoughts and decisions.I can't say Hate List was an enjoyable book to read since it was about a shooting and other gloomy topics, but I definitely think teens should give it a try. This book contains a valuable message to teens about knowing what the difference between hating someone or thinking they hate someone. Things like that are dangerous, as Valerie learns the hard way. Don't let yourself use words like hate in a jk manner. Read Hate List and you'll see why.Overall, Brown did a stunning job on presenting an tough topic and following the main character through her family drama, pain, and extraordinary recovery.

Age Group: YA, ages 14+
Content: Graphic descriptions of shooting, some language, and other depressing situations
Recommend? Yes, for ages 14+

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