Hate List, Jennifer Brown

I didn’t expect for this book to make my tears fall – I was, if not constantly, annoyed with some of the characters. But in the end, it did make me cry. Hate List is another book about bullying, a gruesome story of being the target and getting even. Gruesome, because the target of the bullying Nick Levil, decided to get even by shooting all the kids whose names were in a list written by his girlfriend, Valerie Leftman, who narrated the story. The story actually focused more on the aftermath of result of bullying. hate list

All of them are victims, and everyone is determined to forget that. When something awful happens, we tend to seek blame, and it doesn’t matter just how are we gonna do it, so long as someone else is at fault. I think it has become human nature. In this case, Valerie took all the blame, since the culprit also killed himself. Valerie was Nick’s girlfriend. She was the one who wrote the hate list. No one bothered to ask if she was hurting as well, for she lost someone too, someone so dear to her. And no one even bother to know why there exists a hate list in the first place.

Healing takes time… And sometimes, space. The principal, Mr. Angerson is just too compulsive to believe that everything n school has turned lovely after the shooting. I think there’s nothing wrong with that as long as it’s true. But the thing is he refuses to see what’s really happening. A lot of kids are still in pain, some are still being haunted by the frightening images of the murders. Valerie’s mom, as too concerned as she as a parent, becomes overly protective to give her the trust that she needs in order to be able to get over the tragedy.

Media can sometimes be a pain. There is what we call unbiased reporting, but more often than not, some media men exist to let the people hear what they want to hear. Let’s face it. Publicity is not always healthy. Like in this situation, Valeri felt harassed and confined, in the knowledge that the whole world knew about her guilt in the incident. But when the police finally decided the Valerie was innocent, the media just stopped the coverage. Really, how biased is that?

Upon reading all these books, I am starting to have a new perspective about bullying. Now it isn’t just about humiliation and torment. The psychological abuse, and the emotional torture it brings to its victims are quite painful enough to be destructive.

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