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. -Goodreads
As a main character, I can't really say that I liked Val that much. And I'm not really sure that you're supposed to. I found myself completely sympathizing with her situation, but I didn't really relate to her much as a person. As mentioned in the book, she is at times selfish and absorbed in her problems, which was very understandable, considering her situation. However, I felt myself questioning her true character, and if she could really be considered the heroine of the novel. Was she even a heroine at all? It seemed as if every supporting character had the same question in mind, but I felt like it really wasn't answered. At least not for me.
However, I found myself completely absorbed in this book. It's easy to be drawn in from the start, and difficult to put down for at least the first half, as the whole story unravels. The Hate List is by no means a quick read though; it took me several to get through and process. It was well-written and well-paced, although I found the ending to be both fulfilling and somewhat lacking at the same time. And even though this isn't my favorite read, I would highly suggest it, if only to be exposed to another story and another character. Enthralling ones at that.