Released: Oct. 2010
Publisher: Little Brown
Genre: Contemporary, Tragedy
Rating: 5 / 5
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.
Ugh, this book was so good. Valerie’s story made my chest ache. I love, love the fact that Brown didn't just make Nick a monster who shot up his school. She made him human. She made me care and feel for him. She made me miss him, wish he was there, that Val got a ‘restart’ button, or that it was just a terrible dream. But unfortunately, reality doesn't give you a rewind button. This book made me think. A lot. I started this the night before and got about half way through it. I stayed up for hours, laying on my back, just thinking…about everything. I thought about the nature of humans, and that when pushed to the edge people will finally crack. I thought about how people only see what they want to see. I thought about myself. What would I have done? If I was pushed so far over the edge, would I just not care anymore? I can relate to Nick and Valerie. I wanted both of them to have a future. I wanted Nick to be there. I wanted Nick to be there. I wanted Nick to be there. I wanted Nick to get help before it was too late. I wanted Valerie to notice something was wrong with him. This book made me, angry, sad, and relieved. This book threw all of my emotions in a blender, but in the best way possible.
This book was fantastic and I recommend it to everyone.