Monday, October 26, 2009

HATE LIST by Jennifer Brown

How many times can someone tease and taunt and call you Death Sister before you crack? How many times can someone poke you in the chest and call you a freak before you retaliate?

Valerie and Nick have a "hate list." It started one day when Valerie had had enough from the kids at school and her arguing parents at home. She started a list, and when she showed it to Nick, he thought it was a great idea. Their list grew and filled a notebook. It helped ease the feelings they had about being on the outside, of being different in a high school where being the same was considered being popular.

The tragedy was that Valerie thought she knew Nick. They had spent three years together. She knew he loved Shakespeare and lying under the stars at night. What she didn't know until it was too late, was that Nick had a plan.

He brought a gun to school. He shot the gun, killing and injuring their classmates and teachers. When Valerie finally stopped him, he shot her and then turned the gun on himself.

Nick is dead leaving Valerie to carry on. After months of physical and psychological recovery, she is attempting to return to school. Will students welcome her back as a victim or a villain or a hero?

HATE LIST by Jennifer Brown is the powerful story of a school shooting and the survivors. Valerie's story reveals the devastating toll such a tragedy takes on family and friends. Readers will watch her struggle to return to her life confused about herself, the person she thought she loved, and her new position in her family and her community. Brown artfully reveals the details of the tragic shooting gradually through newspaper accounts, police interviews, and witness interpretations. Everything is held together by Valerie's tortured post-trauma experiences. A lesson in the cold, hard reality of human nature, HATE LIST is not to be missed.

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