The first time I picked up this book, I was expecting a gut-wrenching story that would utterly destroy me. This didn’t happen, though for some reason after reading it a second time, I did like the book a little more. Maybe because I picked up on some things that I might’ve missed the first time… or maybe because I had just watched the Shooting Star episode of Glee and was more sympathetic to the characters.
The book follows four characters – Tomas, Sylvia, Autumn, and Claire. Three of them are inside the school while the shooter is inside, and Claire in on the outside hoping everyone – especially her little brother – is okay. The three inside have no idea if they’ll make it out alive, especially since they know the boy with the gun personally, and have their own reasons to fear that he might make them his next target.
The problem wasn’t that there were too many characters to follow. I liked the different perspectives of where they were during all of this. The issue was that there were too many flashbacks to give backstory to them and it didn’t focus a lot on their present feelings, or give depth to them at least. I just felt like there could have been more character development in this story, or at least some way to get to know them more. And that includes the shooter, Tyler, because he didn’t really have a motive for why he did this, other than being angry. He and his sister did have to endure abuse at home, but that was more of a personal home issue… it wasn’t as though he was bullied at school.
What I will say that I liked about this book was that it’s fast-paced and keeps you wanting to read the next chapter. There are no slow areas at all that makes it feel like the book is dragging on. I wanted to know what would happen to these kids, even if I didn’t relate or know them well. And in my re-read I was hoping to find something I missed to see why Tyler went on this spree, but still found none.
Overall, this book is good, it’s just not a favorite. Maybe the story would’ve been better with less flashbacks and maybe one less POV… or just longer POV’s for some development. That’s my opinion anyway on how this book could be a little more emotional for the readers.
Rating: 3/5 stars