Review: Violent Ends – Shaun David Hutchinson, et al.

Review: Violent Ends – Shaun David Hutchinson, et al.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 Woolston, Trish Doller, Mindi Scott, Margie Gelbwasser, Christine Johnson, Elisa Nader, E.M. Kokie
Published by Simon Pulse
Published: September 1st 2015
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four-stars

In a one-of-a-kind collaboration, seventeen of the most recognizable YA writers—including Shaun David Hutchinson, Neal and Brendan Shusterman, and Beth Revis—come together to share the viewpoints of a group of students affected by a school shooting.

It took only twenty-two minutes for Kirby Matheson to exit his car, march onto the 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, playing 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.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I went through a span recently where I had trouble finding a good book. Everything just felt blah or just okay. I wanted to be wowed but I was scared to read something I was super excited to read. Instead I went on gut instinct and picked a back list book that I had been excited to read. I went with Violent Ends and I’m so happy I just picked it and didn’t over think the selection. It really helped my semi reading slump.

I say this a lot but I just don’t know what to really say about Violent Ends. I’ve read a few school shooting stories over the years but there was something different about this one. This one really made me think. It isn’t told from the point of view of the shooter. It isn’t told from the point of view of a victim or girlfriend/boyfriend. It is told from a variety of point of views. Each one is different in terms of connection to the shooter. Some are very close, some are in small ways. But each story just makes you think about how you would feel if you were that person and this tragedy happened to you or around you. By the story being written this one you really got to see all sides of the shooter and a variety of aspects of people’s lives.

Did I love all the stories the same? No. Some I thought were stronger than others and one I thought was just weird. But they all lead to one thing, a story of a group of people effected one way or another by a troubled boy.

I do warn you that this book isn’t something you can read in one sitting or even over a short span of time. I took almost 2 weeks to read it because it is heavy and emotional and thought provoking. I had to take breaks and step back because I was just sad reading it. That right there is a testament to all the authors and the reason why you should check Violent Ends out.

 

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