I'm not going to say I loved this book exactly. I loved the idea behind it, and I loved parts of it.
You see, it's an anthology. The basic premise is that 18 authors wrote chapters (or short stories) set around a school shooting. Some of the characters have direct links to the shooter, others more peripheral. Some of the stories are about the victims; some about the survivors. Some of the stories are better than others. I wasn't entirely convinced, for instance, about the story told from the POV of the gun...
I'm a little annoyed that this book exists, to be honest, because I wanted to write something like this. A series of short stories, each from a different POV, all taking place in the 36 hours (or so) leading up to an event like this. Looks like these authors beat me to it.
There are some great writers included here. Courtney Summers, Hannah Moskowitz, Beth Revis, Steve Brezenoff, Shaun David Hutchison and Trish Doller to name a few. It's definitely worth a look, if for no other reason than that it's a really interesting idea for a book. Just don't expect to come away from it 100% satisfied.
But don't believe me. Here's the blurb:
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.