Publication Date: September 1, 2009
Type: Paperback, bought
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.
With some books, I feel manipulated into crying.
It's not that they aren't beautiful or wonderful or genuinely heartbreaking. I still sobbed, after all. But the author wanted those sobs, right then, at that one moment. That'll be a killer, they think. They know which page will be soaked with tears.
And then there are these books.
Books that kill you because they aren't trying to.
Because everything is so raw, so painful, and so goddamn real that you can't tell if you're crying for the characters or yourself or maybe a little bit of both.
Where the slightest of moments are what break you.
Where there won't be one crying page, because there will be one scene that gets to me, and another that gets to you, and maybe another that someone else just gets in that way you rarely do.
I could say something like, "I cried, and I laughed, and sometimes I wanted to throw the book across the room." And it'd be true. But that's just the thing to say, to try and express just how a book touched you, and I don't think I can properly do that. I don't think anything I can say will properly explain how I felt, or how you will feel. What will mean what to each person who reads this. What you will just get.
So I think you should just read it.
Just read it and see.