Hate List - Jennifer Brown This book reminded me of the song “Pumped-up Kicks” by Foster the People. It goes something like this:

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks,
You better run, better run, outrun my gun.
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks,
You better run, better run, faster than my bullet.

In the song, the shooter’s name was Robert while the guy in this book was named Nick.

Nick was not a violent person.
At first glance, you won’t even think of him as the guy who could do something like this.
He was a hopeless romantic.

But what pushed Nick to kill those students?

BULLYING!

I never experienced bullying when I was in high school so I couldn’t really related to how Nick and Valerie felt.
I felt for them though.
I hate it when other people think they’re better than anyone else.

Nick and Valerie were one of the bullied ones.
Valerie showed Nick her hate list and it became some sort of their favorite pastime, bully-bashing behind their back.
Then one day, Nick came to school with a gun and killed the people on the list along with others unsuspecting students.
Val felt guilty because she felt that she had a hand on it somewhere even when she didn’t really give him the idea of that massive shooting.
She stopped him but still people talked.
They all think she had something to do with it, including her parent (which sucks!).

The Hate List was one of those books that would open your eyes to the reality of life.
Like the other books I’ve read (Forbidden and But I love him), this book was something I would not forget anytime soon.
It was emotional and very real.
The book actually started after the incidents with little snippets of news about what happened during the shooting.
I was just a little disappointed that the characters lack back stories.
Although, I liked the concept, I didn’t really like how it was executed.
It was as if there was no other characters there than Valerie.
Everything focused on her.
I wanted to know more about Nick and what really pushed him to the edge.
Lack of character depth was acceptable but what I didn’t find acceptable was Valerie’s parents.
They were completely unfair.
They should have understood what she was going through not the other way.
They suck at parenting.
They let down their own daughter.
They should have believed her because she is their daughter.
Her own parent doesn’t even believe her and I think that must have been hard for Val.
I felt sympathy for Val and Nick.
They were victims here too just like the people Nick killed.
I am not saying that what Nick did was correct but what those bullies did to him was not correct either.
It wasn’t really clear what really caused Nick’s decision of really killing them because it was never really mentioned.
Not much about Nick was showed her which upset me a bit.
I wanted to know more about him.

Anyways, it was a good attempt.
It was very light despite the sensitivity of the topic.
It was depressing yes but what can I say, it happens.
Bullying happens.
There are a lot of unloving parents out there too.

I think the main lesson of this book is to respect one another.
We have to respect other people even if they are inferior to you.
There was this line from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire that I love so much and I think it would fit the moral lesson of the story.

“If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”


Need I say more?!

I give this book 3.5 stars! :D