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HATE LIST by Jennifer Brown

HATE LIST

By Jennifer Brown

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-316-04144-7
Publisher: Little, Brown

She doesn’t have the answers for why her boyfriend chose a May morning to kill six classmates and wound several others, but Valerie Leftman is one of the only people who can still remember the good in Nick Levil. As she builds her post-Nick identity during her senior year, Valerie forms an unlikely friendship with one of the shooting victims, explores art therapy and watches her family structure dissolve. Blending flashbacks, current events and newspaper articles together, Brown creates a compelling narrative that drives readers forward. Valerie’s fractured relationships break along genuine stress lines, creating rich and realistic characters; the cathartic argument Valerie has with her brother and parents writhes with pent-up emotion. The author creates an appropriately complex narrative for the issues, though her attempts to address every single aspect lead to some simplified resolutions. Authentic and relevant, this debut is one to top the charts. (Fiction. YA)