Shooter by Caroline Pignat


Shooter by Caroline Pignat

Published: May 3rd 2016 by Razorbill

A lockdown catches five grade 12 students by surprise and throws them together in the only unlocked room on that empty third floor wing: the boys’ washroom. They sit in silence, judging each other by what they see, by the stories they’ve heard over the years. Stuck here with them–could anything be worse?
There’s Alice: an introverted writer, trapped in the role of big sister to her older autistic brother, Noah.
Isabelle: the popular, high-achieving, student council president, whose greatest performance is her everyday life. 
Hogan: an ex-football player with a troubled past and a hopeless future.
Xander: that socially awkward guy hiding behind the camera, whose candid pictures of school life, especially those of Isabelle, have brought him more trouble than answers.
Told in five unique voices through prose, poetry, text messages, journals, and homework assignments, each student reveals pieces of their true story as they wait for the drill to end. But this modern-day Breakfast Club takes a twist when Isabelle gets a text that changes everything: NOT A DRILL!! Shooter in the school!
Suddenly, the bathroom doesn’t seem so safe anymore. Especially when they learn that one of them knows more about the shooter than they realized…

I was really excited about getting a copy of this book and getting around to reading it. I really enjoy reading books with this kind of genre, so I guess that I had hyped it up a little bit in my head. Unfortunately, it did not live up to that hype! I feel like I didn’t really get what I was asking for and the shooting itself was secondary to the lives of the 5 teenagers that were stuck in the bathroom.

I really enjoyed the introduction to the book. A random awakening and being faced by a rabbit… it was a bit crazy and it definitely had me turning the pages to see what was going on! I also liked the introduction to each of the characters and their voices. They all seemed so different at the beginning, especially because the personalities were different and you had a range of the typical crowds you would have found in a secondary school. However, the voices seemed to begin to mesh together as the book went on and I often found myself having to go back to see whose perspective I was reading. The two voices who really stood out on its own was Xanders (who was socially awkward) and Noahs (an autistic character, whose perspective was written in a complete unique view…).

I definitely feel like the shooting was a secondary subject in this book. Most of the book actually focuses on the lives and issues of the 5 teens stuck in the mens bathroom in lockdown. We were faced with the typical issues of feeling lonely and insignificant and having absolutely no idea what they wanted to do after leaving secondary school (because they were at that point), along with the issues of stressful home life, college applications etc. It all came spilling out between the teens, who usually would never talk to each other or even look at each other on a general basis. It was almost like all this stuff came spilling out and then they remembered they were under lock down, and a school shooting was under way. It seemed very disassociated from each other – almost like I picked up a different book from about 65%.

Another issue I had with this book was how the shooting was actually resolved. It didn’t resemble real life at all and it was almost insulting to people who have suffered the horrors that happen in a school shooting like that. It was an extremely fake kind of thing and almost resembled a comic book like Xander was talking about. It didn’t seem very factual and didn’t actually focus all that much on the shooter himself. I was expecting more and I was definitely expecting someone who was stuck in the bathroom to be in on it in some form or another, but I was very disenchanted and disappointed with the whole thing.

All in all, I was pretty disappointed with this book because I was expecting some spectacular. I always have high expectations of books like this because of the subject matter and I am disappointed when it doesn’t live up to the seriousness of the nature of the book. I gave this book 2/5 stars.

Dear Charlie by N. D. Gomes

dear Charlie

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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