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. :)
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Jesse Bennett is an incidentally queer teen with a whack job mom and social status anxiety. I like that the lesbian storyline, while important is only one of the three major themes of this adult, but suitable-for-young-adults novel. Jesse is a likable and believable character in a likable and believable novel. It's a pity I don't have anything brilliant to say about the book because it's a likely candidate for next year's favorites list.