WOW – what a beautifully written book about a terrible and very sad day at Garvin High School. Valerie had friends, and a boyfriend, and was living what we might call a typical teenager’s life. She wasn’t popular, was bullied on many occasions and used her notebook as her way of dealing with the hate she felt everyday. Until that fateful day when her boyfriend, Nick took things a little too far. Valerie and her community have never been the same since and continue to heal.
I thought that Jennifer Brown did a fantastic job at capturing all the feelings that Valerie felt. It was an amazing trip for me, as the reader, to walk alongside Val and see how people viewed her – how in many cases they refused to believe her – including her parents. I especially loved how Val with the help of Dr. Heiler eventually found solace.
I highly recommend this book although I’m not sure I’d recommend it to the younger crowd – I would say 16 and over. The content of this story is very emotional and unfortunately we may be able to see parallels to situations we hear about it today.
“[I] Just curled into a ball and after my body stopped curling my soul kept going. Curling, curling, curling into something tight, wound, tiny.” p. 142
“One. Won. One hour. Just one. Won. I tossed the words around in my head.” p. 272
“See things for what they really are, I reminded myself. See what’s really there.” p. 381
Brown, Jennifer. (2009). Hate List. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.
Author website: http://www.jenniferbrownya.com/