Book Review

Violent Ends

Violent Ends by Shaun David Hutchinson, Neal Shusterman, Brendan Shusterman, Beth Revis, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Courtney Summers, Kendare Blake, Delilah S. Dawson, Steve Brezenoff, Tom Leveen, Hannah Moskowitz, Blythe Woodston, Trish Doller, Mindi Scott, Margie Gelbwasser, Christine Johnson, Elisa Nader, & E. M. Kokie
Release: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Goodreads

♥♥♥♥

It took only twenty-two minutes for Kirby Matheson to exit his car, march onto school grounds, enter the gymnasium, and open fire, killing six and injuring five others.

But this isn’t a story about the shooting itself. This isn’t about recounting that one unforgettable day.

This is about Kirby and how one boy—who had friends, enjoyed reading, played saxophone in the band, and had never been in trouble before—became a monster capable of entering his school with a loaded gun and firing on his classmates.

Each chapter is told from a different victim’s viewpoint, giving insight into who Kirby was and who he’d become. Some are sweet, some are dark; some are seemingly unrelated, about fights or first kisses or late-night parties.

This is a book of perspectives—with one character and one event drawing them all together—from the minds of some of YA’s most recognizable names.

This was the most interesting book I’ve read. The premise intrigued me. One story written by 18 authors but not in the way you’d think. Like it says, it’s not about the day, it’s about the person.

It shows people who knew him well, the people who barely knew him, childhood acquaintances, it even shows the perspective of the gun. It was the most inventive, creative way to tell a story in my opinion.

I don’t know how to tell this story without giving much away and I try to keep everything spoiler free.

Kirby is a regular kid with friends and admirers, goals and extra curricular activities. People knew him, some people liked him, and then he walked into the school and did a horrible thing before killing himself and leaving many questions behind. This is a story of how the community deals with it, this is the story leading up to it, this is the story once people have moved on.

Because of the different view points and different authors, it feels more realistic, more lifelike, and that’s a scary thing. Given how many school shootings have happened over the years, I’ve never experienced one, but I have known people who have been affected by one, even on campus during one, and it places me with them in a way I never was before as an observer through the television screen.

I saw it as it was happening, as it was rumored, and as it was over.

The writing was wonderful and vivid, I could feel the fear bleeding from the pages, the wonder, the curiosity, the unanswered questions. Some stories/chapters had me guessing until the last paragraph, a few were a bit slow for me but still great, I’ve read a few of them twice because I was left questioning.

Part anthology of short stories, part one wild ride. I recommend Violent Ends as one creative read.

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