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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hate List: Characters Who Face Tragedy

This week's focus is on Jennifer Brown's Hate List, and it's an amazing representation of this month's theme: Resilience. Valerie faces doubt and and derision at every turn--from friends, family, teachers--but somehow learns to get up every morning and make it through her senior year after the terrible tragedy of a school shooting perpetrated by a boy she loved.

For discussion: If you've read Hate List, did you understand why people doubted Valerie? Was she an easy-to-love character for you? Did you see her as sympathetic? Complicated?

And, in general, what books have you read where a character comes out on the other side of a tragedy and has to deal with the aftermath? Which are your favorites, and why?


Melissa Walker said...

I loved this one because I felt like she was walking through the tragedy for the whole book, almost like trying to stride against the ocean. But it didn't feel tiring, it felt strengthening somehow....

Lorie Ann Grover said...

I agree, Melissa. I understood definitely why people didn't trust her. Guilty by association, right? But I was sympathetic to her plight and journey. We didn't have to work to overcome her character like we had to (by design) in Before I Fall.

I guess, Out of the Dust comes to mind first for resilience. It's such pure tragedy and as Jennifer said, "resilience with a purpose." A face set to the sun.

Micol Ostow said...

Yes, Lorie Ann, Out of the Dust is a great example. Heartbreaking but filled with hope.
And I agree with you both that I completely understood other people's reactions to the main character/their lack of trust, but that made me all the more sympathetic to her situation. I like that the author didn't make it too easy or rote to take sides.

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