YA Reviews – Hate List, The Compound, Genesis

Posted by in Books, review

I have three very different reviews for today: Hate List by Jennifer Brown, The Compound by SA Bodeen and Genesis by Bernard Beckett

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

This book is told from Valerie’s perspective, the girlfriend of Nick who opened fire on the crowded high school cafeteria.  Valerie, shocked by what her boyfriend was doing, ran to stop him when he shot her in the leg and then shot himself.  Valerie is either vilified or declared a hero by her classmates and community, but she is neither.  She was terrified, and she didn’t set out to be a hero, but she never thought about killing the people on her Hate List.  She might have said she wished they were dead, but she didn’t mean it, no more than anyone means it when they say that kind of thing.  But Nick meant it.  I felt so bad for Valerie and I applaud Brown for not making Nick into a purely evil villain.  He did a horrible, evil thing, but he was kind to Valerie and he was a good boyfriend.  The bulk of this book is told in flashbacks, with Valerie remembering the morning of the shooting and trying to survive at school the next fall.

I admit, I almost put this book down when I saw the Nickelback song quote at the beginning, and I thought that it dipped into the cheesy at some points, but for the most part I thought this was a really great YA novel that deals with an unbelievably difficult topic.   We don’t often hear the people like Valerie’s story, the people that loved the murderers, before they were evil, before they crossed that line.  Try to not cry when you read this book, just try.

So go read this!: now | tomorrow | next week | next month | next year | when you’ve exhausted your TBR pile

Also reviewed by: Steph  Su Reads, Early Word, A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy, Presenting Lenore, GalleySmith, Life in the Thumb, My Friend Amy, Linus’s Blanket

Anax is preparing her final exam to enter the Academy, all about Jasper Forde.  The  entire book is this exam and we discover more and more with each question that the examiners ask her about her world, one that is very different from our own.  Plus, this book has an ending that will absolutely knock your socks off.  Overall, I thought it was successful, but I thought that there were some parts that just didn’t make enough sense in an effort to keep the secret.  When I first finished this book I was prepared to give it a slightly better review, but I’ve thought about it some more and I’m just not completely convinced.  I had really high hopes for this one, and though I still enjoyed reading it and was really surprised by the ending, it didn’t quite live up to them.  This might be one that I revisit in the future, though, to see if I like it better on a second reading.

So go read this!: now | tomorrow | next week | next month | next year | when you’ve exhausted your TBR pile

Also reviewed by:  Steph Su Reads, A Chair, A Fireplace, A Tea Cozy, I was a Teenage Book Geek, Presenting Lenore.

Okay, I really thought this book was too ridiculous and totally unbelievable, but I had a ridiculously good time reading it, so they balance each other out.  Eli has been living in the compound with his family for the past 8 years after a nuclear fallout, but eventually things start to get a weirder and weirder as he realizes that his father is lying to him about something.  Dun dun duuuuuunnn!  Other than the complete implausibility, there was a lot to like here.  Eli is a very believable character, who’s just a little bit mean and really emotionally torn up about the loss of his twin brother in the war.

So go read this!: now | tomorrow | next week | next month | next year | when you’ve exhausted your TBR pile

Also reviewed by: I Was a Teenage Book Geek, Becky’s Book Review

Did you read and review any of these books?  Let me know in the comments and I’ll link to your review!