Written by: Jennifer Brown
# of pages: 405
Average Rating: 4.07/5
My Rating: 4/5
Read in October 2013
Summary according to goodreads
Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he 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.
It was requested that I do a review for this book, so here it is!
This book made me smile, made me yell, and made me cry. It was such a powerful story that everyone needs to read. I was very hesitant to pick it up at first because when I bought it, I had no idea what it was about. This may seem like it's going to be a depressing book - and I'm not going to lie, it is - but it was also a good realistic contemporary that made you think. Nobody ever expects something like a school shooting to happen, so how do you move on when it does?
This poor girl went through so much, and people kept making it seem like she had been the shooter. The character development was so strong in this story, and I felt like I was emotionally attached to Valerie. At times I felt like I was physically in the story, which is very powerful for an author to be able to do. I thought my family life was bad at times, but it was nothing compared to Valerie's.
The hardest part about reading this book was knowing that things like this actually happen. School shootings are very tragic, and unfortunately very real. I watch a lot of Dr. Phil, and it was a totally different experience reading about it from the perspective of someone that was victim, than just hearing about it on TV. Although this novel is a work of fiction, it feels very real because you know that for some people, this is their lives.
I don't want to say much about the ending for those who want to read it, but I will say that I was very satisfied. I felt that in the end all of the loose ends were tied up, I had no questions that went unanswered, and it was just very conclusive.