The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.
The auditorium doors won't open.
Someone starts shooting.
Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.
Review: This book was such an intense and emotional read. I had wanted to read it for a few months now, and I finally got my hands on it. It definitely did not disappoint me. It was every bit emotional and raw as I was expecting it to be. I don't think that this book is for everyone. I think that if you feel up to reading about a high school shooting, go for it. but it is definitely hard to read, and even though it is a fictional work, it feels scarily real.
This book was told from four different perspectives: Tomas, Sylvia, Autumn and Claire. Each of these four people have some connection to the shooter in some way. Autumn is his sister, Sylvia is Autumns girlfriend, Tomas is Sylvia's sister and Claire is the shooters ex boyfriend. All of their stories intertwine, and it was really interesting to read from all of their point of views.
Now, I don't feel like I am able to completely judge this, but at times I did feel like the reactions of the characters were very off. I didn't feel like they were realistic at all, and I especially didn't feel like it was realistic to have the students do more than the police officers. These students were 17 at most and they were acting as though they were professionals which I didn't believe for one second. I also feel like the actions some of the students made while trying to be heroes were completely stupid.
Having said that, this book had me so invested I literally could not put it down. I read it straight through in one sitting, and honestly I don't think a book has had such an impact on me since Me Before You by JoJo Moyes.
I think the way that this story was told, in time intervals was a fantastic way to keep it suspenseful without dragging on.
I will admit I didn't like reading from Claires point of view, just because I feel like she was one of those characters who didn't have appropriate reactions to certain things, and she was very self centred. Having said that, I loved Tomas and reading from his perspective and how he felt about his sister and how protective he was of her. I did really like Autumn and Silvia as characters. I think that considering the circumstances, you get to find out a lot about the characters which really hits you in the feels at times.
Overall, I am so glad I read this book. If I had a chance to redo it, I would read it again. If you think it's something you might like to read, I say go for it. It is obviously is triggering for some so be mindful of that. Also, I feel like the author definitely does not hold back and so it can be a bit up front at times.
Now normally I don't disagree with other peoples reviews so feel free to skip this last paragraph. But I read a few just now and I feel like so many people have completely missed the point of this book. I also feel like they are judging it purely on a fictional level, but do they realise that this is something that happens quite frequently in recent years? Because I understand if people are rating it low based off of the writing or the characters, but I've seen so many reviews criticising the shooting itself which I really don't get. First off, I've seen a few people who read and didn't enjoy this book say the reason for that is because they didn't like the violence. but come on, the book is about a school shooting, can you honestly tell me you don't expect there to be violence in this book? Another complaint I have seen about this book is that they didn't agree with the shooters choices and reasoning behind his actions. But seriously WHO WOULD? The reason this guy decided to do this is because he is INSANE. As is anyone who would decide to do anything like this. So by saying that you don't agree with the shooters choices is fine, but by rating the book one star because of that is unfair to the author in my opinion. It was not excusing the shooters actions in any way, it was showing you how basically this could happen to anyone. If you disagree with me that's completely fine, if you want to tell me how wrong you think I am, that's fine too. But I am sticking with my opinion.
Would I recommend? Yes
For fans of: Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult (I haven't personally read this)
Overall rating: 4.5/5
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