It's weird how writers can be both original and pedestrian at the same time, isn't it? The idea for Hate List, the story of the surviving girlfriend of a school shooter, is the original part. Probably in real life a lot of people would have a hard time forgiving her or wanting to know what's going on in her head, and would really not want to know how she still loves her dead boyfriend. But that's really good, true, confounding, conflicted stuff. The pedestrian, or maybe just annoying part is how she names people: a principal named Angerson, a bully named Bruter, and the worst, a shrink named Hieler. Ugh! She even talks about the names in the Q & A at the end, how she loves them. Whatever, they didn't totally destroy the reading experience for me. :)
The book is engaging, and I recommend it, but it does have its other flaws. The perfect popular girl reaching out to the wounded protagonist is a little too perfect, for one. That the author is a little too invested in the therapist, who is modeled after her partner, is another weakness. I do like the character's evolution, how she comes to understand herself and her role in the tragedy, and I did tear up a bit near the end.
I'm awfully critical sometimes in these reviews. I guess the thing is that I eat up these YA novels despite their faults. I love them anyway.