I'd heard of Hate List many times (also, it's distinguishable in the background bookshelf of almost every vlog I've ever watched) before I read its synopsis on Goodreads. And once I read that summary, I knew I had to read it.
Our main character, Valerie, made the Hate List with her boyfriend, Nick. They listed the people that they hated together. Neither of them is the most popular or most happy person at the school, but Valerie is still taken aback when Nick takes fire to the people on the Hate List. She throws herself in front of her enemy and gets shot for her - the last person shot before Nick turned the gun on himself.
The premise was heavy and intense and utterly unique to anything I've read - or even heard of - before. The shooting scene was well-written and felt incredibly realistic - I was shaking while reading it. Valerie's narration of the scene in hindsight was genuine and rife with emotion.
In fact, all of the prose was rife with emotion. Valerie's voice was sad and angry and hopeful all at once. I felt real sympathy for her, knowing that none of what happened was her fault but she was blamed for it all the same.
The plot was well-paced and slow-burning. The story had its up and downs, but the ending was perfect: if not a happily-ever-after then at least things began to look up.
Hate List is definitely the book for you if you're looking for emotional, intense reads with a hopeful underlying message. I recommend it to fans of Courtney Summers's books.
I give Hate List a 5 out of 5.