The Hate List

By Jennifer Brown


In The Hate List we follow Valerie Leftman, a senior at Garvin High, as she fights her way through her Senior year, after her boyfriend, Nick, shot many people at her school, then himself. Nick Levil was bullied through his time at Garvin. The day they met, Valerie had created a "Hate List" and Nick started helping her with it. On this list were the names of people and things they despised. Mainly bullies and ideas such as "parents fighting." One day, after hanging with shady people for many months, Nick snapped. Valerie thought he was defending her against bullies, but his true intentions were everything but. Nick shot many people, killing several. He also shot Valerie, who was trying to stop him, and after shooting her thigh, he shot himself. Now, Valerie has to suffer through school, the people on the infamous hate list, and making new friends after her old ones turn on her. See how it all turns out in The Hate List.


  • Valerie's home in Garvin
  • Garvin High School
  • Dr. Hieler's office, Valerie's therapist
  • Bea's art studio down the street from Dr. Hieler's office
  • Nick's grave in the Garvin Cemetery


  • Valerie- Valerie is the protagonist of the story(the person the story focuses on) She is seen as a victim and a suspect. She was Nick, the shooters, girlfriend and helped him create the Hate List, so people thought she was in on it. After she got out of the 'psych ward' as her dad calls it, she starts going to a therapist named Dr. Hieler.
  • Dr Hieler- Rex Hieler is Valerie's therapist and helps her make a lot of her major decisions. He is a good person in Valerie's eyes, and she thinks he deserves a perfect life and not have to deal with her as often as he does.
  • Jessica Campbell- Jessica was almost a victim in the shooting and was on the Hate List many times for calling Valerie nicknames such as Sister Death. Valerie jumped in front of Nick before he shot Jessica saving her life. After Valerie returns to Garvin High School, Jessica tries very hard to become Valerie's friend and have her own friends include her. Jessica also convinces Valerie to join Student Council and help with a memorial for the victims of the shooting.
  • Nick Levil- Nick was Valerie's boyfriend before her shot many people in their school, including himself. Nick caused so many problems for Valerie, making him the antagonist, even though he is dead. If Nick wouldn't have shot people, Valerie's life would've been so much easier.
  • Valerie's mom- Valerie's mother gave her so much grief and worry about the shooting and her leg. You can tell she was trying to help, but it just stressed Valerie more.

About The Author

Jennifer Brown's debut novel, The Hate List, has won many awards, including three starred reviews and was chosen to represent Missouri in the 2012 National Book Festival in Washington D.C. Jennifer was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lives there today with her husband and three children. Jennifer was bullied badly as a Jr. High/ High schooler and bases Nick's bullies after her own tormentors. One of her children is in high school, and the idea of a school shooting frightens her. Jennifer also got some inspiration from the Nickleback song, If Everyone Cared. Find out more at and

More books by jennifer brown

  • Bitter End
  • Thousand Words
  • Perfect Escape
  • Gender and Policing

Book recommendations

  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  • If I stay by Gayle Forman
  • Snitch by Allison van Diepen

personal Recommendation

I recommend The Hate List to any mature reader. There are some parts that are slightly sad and disturbing that may be inappropriate for young children. I very much enjoyed reading The Hate List and would read it again. I hope many others enjoy it as well. The Hate List is suspenseful, sad, dramatic, and a good lesson on bullying and trauma.