Hate List by Jennifer Brown
From the publisher:
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.
Oh my gosh, this book was so intense! The pain of Val going back to the scene of the tragedy, the way her family fell apart – and trying to figure out if that was a cause or result of what happened at the high school. For me, the hardest part of the whole story was not Val reliving what happened the day Nick came to school with a gun, it was her relationship with her father. He just could not believe anything but the worst of Val, and would not hear otherwise. It was extremely painful and, I would like to think, unrealistic. Sadly, it may not be completely unrealistic, as it almost seemed that he was using it as part of his excuse to pull away from his family.
This book was tough to read, but it was very good. While it is classified as a young adult book, I think it is one that many adults will find value in as well, seeing how a young girl could get caught up in something that ends in a school shooting, and also how she could be rehabilitated.