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Welcome to my blog!

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I am Portuguese but I grew up in Reading, England.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Hate List (Jennifer Brown)

Five months before, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria before turning the gun on himself. Val was as shocked as everyone else - but despite her own serious injury she is implicated in the crime because of a list. The list both made of people they hated. The list Nick used to pick his targets.
Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends, and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place, and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.

Quote: "I sat on the couch, feeling more alone than ever before. Feeling colder than I'd ever imagined possible. Feeling like, of all the horror of what happened, this was the worst of it. This was the worst because, even after everything that had been done, I still missed Nick. Sometimes we get to win, too, he'd told me."

Why this book speaks to me: Unlike what you may think, Jennifer Brown's debut novel is not about a school shooting. That is just what triggers the story.
I have considered this book to be about two things. Firstly, how it all can change from one moment to another, one minute you are here, next you are not anymore; One minute you are happy, the next something will make you unhappy, or vice-versa; so you cannot take things or people for granted, nobody knows what tomorrow will bring.
However, this is also about a girl trying to find herself, in spite of everything. Trying to realise who she is, to fit into a dysfunctional family, and consider her future.
I found it to be a clever, powerful, and moving story. A real page-turner that left me in tears at the end!

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