Review: Hate List by Jennifer Brown

hate-list-by-jennifer-brown

I got a ton of books for my birthday but unfortunately this wasn’t one of them. However, my Dad and step-mom gave me a £50 Waterstones gift card (the best thing I’ve ever received to be honest) and I’d seen ‘Hate List’ on Amazon and it sounded interesting so I decided to take a look for it. There was one copy left so I nabbed it!

Five months ago Valerie Leftman’s boyfriend opened fire on the school cafeteria, killing five students and one teacher before killing himself. Valerie is shell-shocked and even though she herself got shot trying to stop him the police believe she may have had a part in the shooting because of the hate list she and her boyfriend created. The list her boyfriend used to pick the targets. Valerie decides to go back to school and becomes more of an outsider than she ever thought she was before, she is forced to deal with her feelings of guilt and loneliness. Valerie must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it to make amends to her own life.

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The first half of the book is told from two different time point of views. We start with Valeria in the present day and then the next chapter is Valeria on the morning of the shooting. This keeps alternating until the shooting is over. I think this worked really well instead of having Valeria tell us what happened all at once because it kept the suspense going for longer and kept you intrigued.

I’m not entirely sure whether I liked Valeria or not. I didn’t blame her for what happened or anything I just thought she was a bit boring. Most of the characters were to be honest, although I did like Jessica. However, I’m glad that Nick wasn’t just shown as some horrible monster. We got to see him through Valeria’s point of view which made it more interesting rather than just seeing him as the bad guy. That’s when Valeria’s most interesting, when she’s talking about her confusing feelings for Nick who she still loves but hates at the same time.

Also, Nick had a friend, that Valeria hated, who was mentioned a lot at the beginning but towards the end he has little to no relevance so I’m not 100% sure why he was included? It would’ve been better if he’d been a bigger part of the story.

To be honest ‘Hate List’ is one of those books where I’m glad I read it but I won’t be in a rush to read it again soon. I suppose I’d recommend it but don’t expect to be amazed or anything. It just is what it is.

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