Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Synopsis: 10:00 a.m. 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.
10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.
10:03 The auditorium doors won’t open. 10:05 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.
This was a book that I was very excited to read – mostly because I was interested in the subject matter. School shootings are horrific events that unfortunately happen way too often in the United States. I have previously read one book covering this topic and I really enjoyed it. I wanted to see this author’s take on it so as soon as my library had a copy, I checked it out.
Unfortunately, I didn’t end up enjoying the book as much as I thought I would. My biggest problem would have to be that with all the POVs the book had, it never showed the gunman’s perspective. I definitely think that this was a missed opportunity. Usually a shooters’ motives aren’t made clear from the start so I would have been okay with not getting a POV from the beginning, but I still hoped for one later on in the novel.
Other than that, I didn’t really connect with the characters. I didn’t dislike them by any means, but I definitely didn’t like them either. I liked that they were diverse, but other than that, they were quite forgettable. I noticed how disconnected I was from them probably halfway through the novel when I realized that I really didn’t care if the characters ended up alive or dead.
Bottom Line: This novel was very underwhelming in my opinion. If some aspects of the book had been changed or expanded upon, I feel like the story could have been greatly improved.