Hate List VS Since You've Been Gone

By: Jennifer Brown and Morgan Matson


In both books, the main character, a girl, faces a problem. Both girls have to find themselves in order to fix their problems. They both recruit a new friend to help along their journeys, and discover more then they hoped.


Each girl faces a challenge, but those challenges are far from each other. Vivian struggles to convince people she was not apart of the school shooting, where as Emily is trying to find her best friend. Along the way, Valerie gets help from Jessica, and they become great friends. Emily is tags along Frank, who helps her achieve the list, and along the way develop a relationship.

Which Book Did I Enjoy More?

I honestly love both of these books. Each gives a different message, but I think Hate List was just a phenomenal book. In my opinion, every high school student should read this book. It goes back and forth between the day of the shooting and the present, and really shows the reality of these situations. I think the message in this book is strong, and should be delivered more often.

Which Characters Do I Relate To Better?

I think I relate to Emily more than any other character. She realizes that with her best friend gone, she doesn't really have anyone. She struggles to find who she is alone, and discovers the whole time she hid behind her friend, and no one knew who she was. Not only that, but she discovers shes not that outgoing either, because to accomplish the list, she is face with daring moments and awkward conversations. I can relate because I too don't really know who I am. I also sit in the back and try not to be noticed. I think both Emily and I will find our selves, our voices, and our true meaning.

Hate List Summary

Valerie is a survivor of a school shooting. Her boyfriend, Nick, started shooting on May 2nd, 2008, near the end of their junior year. The shooting left 7 dead with many wounded, including Valerie herself. Before the shooting, Nick and Valerie created a list in her notebook of people that annoy and torment them because they are outcasts. One of the names on there is Jessica, one of the kids who tormented Nick and Valerie. Unknowingly, Valerie caught in the moment saves Jessica's life, but ends up getting shot by Nick. The book flashes back and forth between the shooting and Valerie in her senior year. With many hardships, tears, and new beginnings, Valerie finds her way through this mess. This will stay with Valerie for the rest of her life, but now she can rid the guilt and fear in her life.

Since You've Been Gone Summary

After her best friend, Sloane, disappears with her family and leaves no trace, Emily is left alone and friendless for summer. Without any indication of where she’s gone or when she’ll be back, Sloane mails Emily a list of challenges for her to do during the summer. Emily believes that if she completes this list, Sloane will return home and in her quest to tick every item off. Along the way, she tags along Frank, head student, to help her unravel clues. Finding Sloane is difficult, but finding herself is harder.