FTC: This is a library book. I am not being compensated in any manner for my review.
Total grade: 85% B
Total rating: 14+
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.
I’m not really sure how I feel about this book. Kind of half and half I guess. It was good about half the time and average the other half. The best parts were during the school shooting and the newspaper articles. I do believe that it was a unique topic and handled in a good way but certain parts could have been sped up a bit. I recommend this book to fans of deep and dark books.