This novel caught my attention as I perused the library shelves and after reading cover to cover in less than 24 hours I have put that books down more emotional, but pleased that I chose to pick up a book that needs to be read by all.

Five months after her older sister Rosie was murdered for how she was, Eve is back at school dealing with her loss and trying to piece her life back together. But when new guy Anthony turns up at school, Eve recognises his name straight away as a witness to her sister’s murder. As the trial is coming up, Eve isn’t sure if she can cope seeing Anthony everyday, especially when he won’t speak out.

Honestly, it was the title that caught my attention first off. Jennifer Brown’s Hate List still resounds to me months after reading the book that the title willed for me to pick it up. Once reading the blurb, I knew it was a book that would peak my interest, and that it did indeed. Again, it was emotive and hit all the right places. It did itself justice and I am proud to have read the book.

The author’s note at the beginning of the book took me by surprise. I hadn’t realised that it was based on a true story, yet reading that before delving straight into the book made it even more prominent when I read the book. I felt like it a more significant read and felt like it had a purpose. Although it is fiction, the narrative is based on real events and the circumstances had actually happened to someone. The way that Alan had captured that in the novel so delicately was extremely commendable and I had a lot more respect whilst reading it.

Each character had a message behind them, and the split narrative allowed for a perspective than just the victim. Although the story leant an larger ear to Eve, and I wouldn’t expect anything less from the story, I still like that we got to see the affect on the witness too. The way that Alan played out the retribution was commendable as there was no simple resolution and that reflect on real life really made the book more emotional and true to the real life it was leading to portray.

I liked the unravelling of how Rosie had hung on, as well as the circumstances around her death. I also liked how Alan built Eve, her best friend and the situation of her best friends brother. Honestly, I found it a very poignant read.

This book, it’s topic and the emotion captured in the way it is written is one that will stay with me for a very long time. This is a book that I recommend everyone should read.


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