10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.
10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.
10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won’t open.
10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.
Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.
I flew through this book, which isn’t a huge feat considering it is only short, and it was a good read. The writing was of a good quality most of the time (with the exception of some dramatic dialogue that had me rolling my eyes) but most of it hit the mark for me.
I did tear up near the end of this book, with two deaths really getting to me because I liked their characters, but I won’t spoil it.
However, the flashing back to the past did begin to irk me. For example, a gun will be pointed at one of my favourite characters and he’s about to pull the trigger and I’m hanging on the edge of my seat and – “when Autumn was three, she liked to dance”. I didn’t want to know that. I wanted to see if my character will be okay. I found myself skipping those parts sometimes.
Also, I did have an issue with Tyler’s character. He seemed a little like the stereotypical villain. For example, he grins and laughs while he is killing his classmates, and his history with Sylvia didn’t help that. I also felt like he needed more justification than ‘you were leaving me behind’ and ‘no one noticed me’.
But, I did read this book in a couple of hours and it did create a lump in my throat. It is also the first book about school shootings that I have read, and I think I will be reading more. It’s important for everyone to be aware of this topic.