My rating: 5 of 5 stars
And then I’d spend about an hour, my room darkening around me, wondering what the hell happened to make me unsure of who I even was.
Did you ever have a fear that the people you love aren’t what they seem? That there are other sides of them that are not the person smiling in front of you, playing with your hair and making you laugh? That they can do horrible things that you can’t imagine they could? For Valerie Leftman, this became a reality. Her boyfriend Nick whom she loved so deeply just showed up at school one day and started killing people – targeting people who were on their hate list. Several months after the incident, Valerie must come back to school and face the people who may or may not think she’s guilty as well. And every day was a struggle.
I’ve read books about suicide and consequences of bullying before but never did a book made me cry like this. I basically cried after every page… real tears. It’s because Valerie is not perfect. Some are right – she may not have pulled the trigger but she has a part in the shooting. But the best part is she knows that. And she’s trying her best to come to terms with it.
This book is a very emotional one. It stirred a lot of emotion inside of me. I felt anger and grief and confusion. But most of all, it made me evaluate my life.
Jennifer Brown made brilliant characters in this one. There are some times when I’m annoyed with Valerie but I guess that’s one reason I liked the main character. As I’ve mentioned, she’s not perfect. But the people around her are crap. Her family sucks. Her old friends suck. Her life really sucks. And I guess that’s what the book really wants- to show a person’s struggle. We are all fighting battles everyday- battles against ourselves, the people around us and our environment. But some got it worse than the others. Some people won’t notice but the worst part is someone does and takes advantage of that weakness they see in you.
And this book really sends a message about the people who have done bad things. I am not justifying any bad thing ever done but like Nick, maybe there’s more to bad people than the bad things they have ever done.
This book also sends a message about hate. And that’s why I’m doubting the five stars I gave this book. Honestly, I’m still thinking about it. I expected the ending to be different. I expected Jennifer Brown to establish what hate does to people. I expected this book to somehow teach the lesson further than what it did.
But I guess Jennifer Brown chose to send a message of hope.
I may have second thoughts about the five stars but this book is great. The stars aren’t the one this book made me doubt. Hours ago, I had a favorite book. Now this book and On the Jellicoe Road is fighting for the spot.
Overall, if you wish to read a book to really feels something – this book is a great choice!