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.
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Valerie is coping with life after the aftermath of a
shooting at her school - by her boyfriend, Nick. Now she believes (not
completely incorrectly) that everyone blames her for it, despite
stopping the shooting and gaining a bullet to her leg in the process.
Going back to the past to show us what happened and switching to the
future to show us the aftermath, this book kept me reading until the
very last page.
Although Valerie was the main
character, her boyfriend Nick was the most memorable for me. He seemed
to have a presence during every chapter of the book, regardless of
whether or not he was in that chapter or not! Valerie is a character I
won't forget easily, I felt torn in two reading her story, agreeing with
Valerie's opinions of herself and her parent's opinions at the same
time. I wish I could have known her brother better, as he seemed pretty
awesome and I was curious to see how having a sister that's accused of
being an accomplice to a murderer effected him. I really hated Valerie's
dad. I wanted to understand him but the stuff he said/did just made me
hate more and more.
I got everything I expected
from this book - and more. For such a thick book, it was a surprisingly
quick read - probably because I enjoyed it so much! I loved watching
(reading?) Valerie slowly come out of her shell throughout the book,
making new friends and discovering herself again. I thought that the
last chapter was just beautiful, and a very fitting ending to Valerie's