Once, In Year Eight, I Made A Hitlist

On Friday I bought a book I’ve been meaning to read for a very long time: We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. I’ll admit it now, I have a strange fascination with school shootings, and love to not only watch documentaries on real ones, but read books on fictional ones. This is why Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult is one of my all time favourite books, and also why I can’t put WNTTAK down. 
Humans have always fascinated me, and if I didn’t love magazines so much, I’d definitely think about becoming a psychiatrist or an anthropologist (lols, toong and quack will find that amusing). I just can’t acknowledge the fact that sometimes a kid walks into school and kills his classmates; I have to know exactly why. What made him do it? What made him chose that day? (notice how I said him out of habit? Think about it though, you don’t ever hear about female shooters). In Nineteen Minutes the whole concept is explained amazingly well. You get to find out just what made Peter snap, and also hear from various other people who were affected by that day. 
It’s not just school shooters though; I’m fascinated with all types of evil people. Wicked is one of my all time favourite musicals, partly because of the way it explains this fascinating topic. The show opens with a song called No One Mourns The Wicked and there is a bit of dialogue which says “Are people born wicked? Or do they simply have wickedness thrust upon them?” That sums up my curiosity in its entirety. Surely you can’t be born wicked/evil. Something has to happen in your life to make you that way. I bet that if you met a ten year old Hitler you wouldn’t come away with the impression of having just met someone who would be responsible for the murders of millions, but then again, watching/reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is enough to let you know that Voldemort was evil, even before he turned eleven. 
Surely, for the most part, there’s a tipping point that makes them snap. Something that happens and they go I just can’t take this anymore. A line that gets crossed, and there’s no going back. I know I’ve felt like that, to a degree, before, but the thought of killing my classmates would never, ever cross my mind (although my school shooting related fact spewing lately has my parents worried :P), so I’m fascinated as to why they choose that method to deal with their problems. Fascinated how they choose who to kill; whether it’s a random thing, or whether they methodically make a hitlist, and go about killing everyone on it. Fascinated to know whether anyone saw it coming; whether they were the stereotypical loner or if they had friends, participated in school events, were upbeat and happy, until one day they decided to kill everyone.

The lyric is also, in part, what We Need To Talk About Kevin is about. It’s written from the perspective of Kevin’s mum, who is writing letters to his father in the time (it starts a year and a half) after Thursday, as she refers to it. As a career woman who had a child later in life, her letters question whether her lack of love for Kevin while pregnant led to him turning into an evil teenager. Whether her not feeling a maternal bond to him led him to murder all the innocent people. Whether, at the end of the day, although she was far from the scene of the crime, she was responsible for the whole thing. 
I’m very bad at being able to leave the ending of the book until I get to the end, so I did flick and read just how it all finishes. It’s not one I would have guessed, but it adds such a more intense, creepy level to the book. Seriously, even if you’re not as creepily obsessed with school-shooterish things like I am, you should read We Need To Talk About Kevin. It’s amazing, to say the least.


frangipani princess xoxo

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6 thoughts on “Once, In Year Eight, I Made A Hitlist

  1. Wow so many weird similarities here;To Frangipani the Fish, one of my friends has a habit sedgewaying into that song when we go to school on Mondays and complain (cause our Monday timetable sucks majorly because of double maths) And coincidentally enough, I believe we made a hitlist in Yr 8 too (mainly crazy sub teachers but still)Nineteen minutes is an amazing book, I got so emotional in it. One of Piccoults best! Ever watched bowling for Columbine? Basically, that many school shooters bowled before they went on their spree. That Kevin book sounds really good too. We actually got concerned because a crazy teacher at our school implied someone had a violent streak and they were doing ten pin bowling as a sport at the time…

  2. I love those types of books as well. This year in literature class we read about the Columbine High School Shooting. A mother wrote it about her daughter who got killed. It's called "She Said Yes" by Misty Bernall. Her daughter's name was Cassie. The reason of the book title is because before she got killed, one of the 2 boys who was shooting people asked her if she believed in God. She said yes. Then he shot her in the head.I really want to read Ninteen Minutes(:xx,~Abby~

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