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.
This book is hard to review because of the fact it was a hard book to read, don't worry you won't want to put it down but you also probably won't find a book you'll enjoy so much in between.I'm not a huge fan of books that contain realistic fiction and I can see why this book would not appeal to everyone but I feel with all my heart that is a book that should be read by everyone at least once in their lifetimes.
For a debut novel the writing is first class, I really enjoyed the way the book flowed, the author knows how to keep her audience captivated and wanting more and this worked well in this book. There was just the right amount of suspense and drama in the book.
The plot is told in three different perspectives, you have present day, newspaper articles and memories that Valarie had about the past events. We learn about her past with Nick and how she thinks in a way she is to blame for what happened. While in truth Valarie couldn't of done anything more she is filled with guilt over the what ifs, what if she said this, what if she did this? As hard as it seems she is an outsider, her so called friends don't really want anything to do with her and she has no one to turn to, her mom and dad don't understand how to help her and she doesn't think they are interested.
The character of Val is so complex it could of taken a whole new book just to see what happened, I think though that this showed just how much effort the author brought into play when creating the character. Though I liked Val I have to say I loved the character of Nick. Nick was the baddy but we learn from flashbacks that he wasn't as bad as the papers made him out to be, it was a mixture of things that took him over the edge and everyone at the school whether they want to hear or not played a part!
Overall this book makes you think about your own life, I for one was left thinking what would of done in either Val's position or in Nick's. It also makes you realise that when you say a negative comment to someone they might misinterpret what you were meaning and that could to lead to more trouble. I for one feel that this book should be read in schools. It is not just about school shooting but it is about bullying and how that can affect people's life's forever. There is a message in the book that is when you feel like giving up don't things might just get better!