"The shooting, which began just as students were preparing for their first class, left at least six students dead and countless others wounded (p. 3)."

What started out as a joke turned deadly when Nick used Valerie and his hate list as a catalyst to murder classmates. Caught in the gunfire and shocked that the boy she loved was responsible, Valerie witnessed each person on their list methodically killed. As he reached his final victims, Valerie lunged for Nick and was shot in the leg, stopping the gunfire and saving Jessica Campbell, the school bitch. Only, she'd lost Nick. As her body crumpled to the ground, she heard the final shot as Nick put a bullet through his brain to stop the rampage.

The novel picks up a few months following the shooting after the hate list is made public and questions surrounding Valerie's involvement are still on people's minds - including her parents. In an effort to be brave, she decides to finish her senior year at the same high school where the shooting took place. As a result, her presence makes people ask questions about bullying, moving on, and who is really to blame. What everyone learns, however, is that every action has a ripple effect, and, sometimes, placing blame isn't so black and white.

This is a book about healing as well as change. It's never too late.   flag

"But Cameron doesn't want people knowing he's hurting. He doesn't think wearing it on the outside will help him any" (p. 25).

Cameron was an intelligent, friendly freshman until he becomes the target of merciless bullying from upperclassmen jocks. Making it their mission to abuse him emotionally and physically, their leader takes it too far when he decides to sexually assault Cameron in the locker room one day. As a result, Cameron decides to retaliate, and what follows leads to multiple arrests and one person dead.

This novel is an excellent example of how bullying can lead to deadly consequences when adults refuse to acknowledge the warning signs and intervene before it is "too little, too late."