Author: N.D. Gomes
Publisher: Harlequin Mira Ink: Harper Collins
Date Published: 20th October 2016
Death should never meet the young. But it did. Thanks to my brother, death made fourteen new friends that day. Maybe even fifteen, if you count Charlie.
At sixteen, Sam Macmillan is supposed to be thinking about girls, homework and his upcoming application to music college, not picking up the pieces after the school shooting that his brother Charlie committed.
Yet as Sam desperately tries to hang on to the memories he has of his brother, the media storm surrounding their family threatens to destroy everything. And Sam has to question all he thought he knew about life, death, right and wrong. - Goodreads
This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This book is due to be released on the 20th October 2016 by Harlequin Mira Ink - Harper Collins!
When I first read the synopsis of this book, I was mildly intrigued. If you read my blog often, you'll know that I have a weird fascination with killers, books that involve murder and death, and definitely taboo subjects, such as school shootings. I don't know why, they just fascinate me to no end. So I immediately jumped at the chance to read this unusual take on a school shooting. You never hear about what happens after the shooting, you rarely read about the family of the shooter so I was intrigued to hear their side, to see what happens to them in the aftermath, how they cope etc. Honestly, I was surprised. I really enjoyed reading this book, it was heart wrenching. I felt so sad for Sam (our main character!) I wanted to hug him and tell him it'll be okay.
That's a good place to start off actually. Sam. The story is told from his point of view. I loved his voice, I loved reading from his perspective. I couldn't help but put myself in his situation, I imagined what I would be like if I were him, and I concluded that there's no way I would have been as strong as he was. I definitely thought the book was going to end a completely different way. Sam was such a cute character, he reminded me a lot of Charlie from 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower'. I guess he was a wallflower, albeit for a very different reason.
I would have loved to have gotten a glimpse of Charlie's (the school shooter) mind. I kind of wished their was a perspective change, where we got to see the shootings happening and what Charlie was thinking at the time. Although I can see how that would have taken away from the wondering and hurt that Sam had felt by not knowing. If Sam can't know, why should we? Regardless, I would love a second book that focuses on the shooting itself. Hint hint.
There was a slight issue with the story that I had, and although it's not an awful issue... it did kind of bug me. All I could think about whilst reading this was 'Oh that happened in The Perks of Being a Wallflower...' or 'Sam is just like Charlie from The Perks'... 'It's written just like The Perks..' And although at the time when I was reading this, I found enough similarities that the connection annoyed me. Looking back now, I think it's great. I loved The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I loved the writing style, I loved the characters and I'm glad that this author has chosen to go a similar way. The story is very different and very unique, but it has that same kind of feel.
So on that note, if you enjoyed The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky, you will absolutely love this book!
This was an incredibly hard book to read, not in the writing style, but in the emotions that it brings out of you. If you really throw yourself in, you'll start to feel like you're Sam and you will hurt. A lot. I hurt for him so much. Saying that, I think the novel definitely could have done with a bit more 'filling out', it was too short and too brief. I needed more depth to the story, more depth to the characters. The characters all fell a bit flat for me, we didn't see enough of Sam's friends, we didn't get to see a great connection between them. And the pain that Sam's parents must have been going through, I would love a book about them as well. I just need more information and detail, more pain and anguish to make this story really believable.