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. (Goodreads)
Let me get this out there. I have had this book on my TBR since it was announced and the premise was out. I have been pining for this book since and I bought it on the day that it was released. All I know about school shootings is what I read in the news. I don’t live in America, I have never been subject to something as horrific as that and I have never lived near to somewhere where it has taken place. I have no experience of it whatsoever.
Having said that, I loved this book. I read it in one sitting whilst my son was asleep and I just physically could not put it down. I had to read on – I needed to know what happened and why Tyler turned toward the path he went down. I was addicted. At the end, I was a mess. I had tears streaming down my face, I felt haunted, almost as if I knew the characters personally and was at the event myself. I felt what the characters were feeling and I just didn’t know what to do with myself after I had finished the book. I felt lost.
What I enjoyed most about this book is the fact that it focused on the school shooting itself. A lot of books about subjects like this focus mainly on the aftermath and on the victims. Whilst this book did have focus on the victims, we were mostly reading about the perpetrator (Tyler) and about his life – the people who knew him and witnessed the changes within him, even if it was gradual.
It is easy for the reader to lose themselves in this book – it is so realistic and relatable that it is easy to believe that you were actually there. I have read a few other reviews of this book (none too good) and they compare this book to the Columbine shooting… this is completely different! It makes the reader wonder at the psychology behind such an act.
In short, I loved this book! I gave it 5/5 stars and I cannot wait to find out what the author has next for us!