Dear Charlie by N. D. Gomes
Expected Publication: October 20th 2016 by Mira Ink
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.
Note: I received an ARC of this book through Netgalley in return for an honest review. This in no way influences my opinion.
This book. I don’t even know where to begin with THIS BOOK!! I don’t know why I do this to myself. I always choose books which I know will make me blubber like a baby and feel all the feels and I go and read it anyway. I torture myself… in a good way. If you are looking for a hard hitting book that hits all of the general stereotypes about a school shooting on the head and then addresses the fact that it isn’t really the way it always appears to be, this would be it.
I loved the unique beginning of the book. It starts of in a letter format, which gives the reader an insight into the thoughts and feelings of Charlie’s brother, Sam. Charlie is now dead, but Sam is struggling to deal with what happened that day and why Charlie did what he did. At first I was worried that the entire book was going to be set in letter, form, but it wasn’t. I don’t want to say too much, but I definitely think that the letter at the beginning helped to highlight the changes and the transitions that the characters go through.
This book dealt with a really tough subject. There are quite a few books out there that look at and deal with the aftermath of a school shooting, but this is the first one that I have read that dealt with the family and what they had to go through in the wake of Charlie’s actions. I found myself rooting for the family to get through it and I was actually angry because the actions within this book of other people, is actually what happens in today’s society.
I think the book highlighted the fact that we are always looking for someone to blame extremely well. Someone always has to take the brunt of it, whether it was the actual person who did it or not. I lao think it highlighted extremely well the way in which the media has a role in swaying the masses. The media can make someone wither love you or hate you and they are always looking for their next victim, whether they are to blame or not.
I wanted to adopt Sam and put him in my little puddle of protection! I felt so sorry for him and I had a hard time dealing with his feelings!! That is how hard hitting this book is! I think I felt pretty much the same way that Sam did and I don’t even know what I would do if I was stuck in his position!
I also think the ending was perfect! I don’t want to give too much away, but I definitely think it helped to highlight the changes the entire family had to go through and the things they had to accept. I struggled with the ending, and it made me bawl my eyes out!! Like a baby. I was a blubbering mess!
I definitely recommend this book because it is so true to society on how we look at school shootings in the aftermath and how we treat the family of the perpetrator afterwards. It is hard hitting, it takes stereotypes and throws them out of the window!! I definitely think this book needs to be read by the masses!! I gave this book 5/5 stars.
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