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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Review: fml – Shaun David Hutchinson

Review: fml – Shaun David HutchinsonFml by Shaun David Hutchinson
Published by Simon and Schuster
Published: June 25th 2013
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three-stars

There’s more than one way to get the girl in this fun and fast-paced novel about one epic party and a kiss that could change everything. Tonight’s the night: Simon’s big chance to finally get with Cassie. Cassie, who he’s loved for ages. Cassie, who is newly boyfriend-free. Cassie, who just happens to be throwing the biggest party of the year. Simon’s plan is simple: He’ll go to the party, she’ll fall in love with him, they’ll make out like crazy, and the night will be a complete success.

But things don’t ever go as planned…especially when it comes to Cassie.

In two alternating plotlines, Simon goes after the girl of his dreams and stumbles toward his destiny. It’s one night, one party, and a thousand ways for things to go wrong…but a million ways for them to go right.

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.

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A friend suggested this one after learning of my love for Parallel life books. When I saw it was up on Edelweiss I requested it pretty late and on a whim and was happy to be approved so quickly. Sadly though that is where most of my happiness ended because this book turned out to just be okay. I did enjoy the parallel life part and it was fun to read a parallel story from a guy’s POV, but the rest of it was just okay.

FML is the story of Simon. Simon has been in love with Cassandra Castillo for 3 years, a girl he had the chance to kiss on their one and only date and blew it. Since that fateful night he has pinned over Cassie while she was in a relationship never having the guts to tell her how he felt. But in one night that is about to change. On the last party of the year Simon decides he is going to tell the newly single Cassie how he feels and get that kiss he has been wanting for 3 long years. But like everything else in Simon’s life it doesn’t go quite as planned. He has two different paths he could take to get to the girl he is in love with and two different chances to change the course of his life.

First let me start by saying that the best part of his book was the Can’t Hardly Wait feel to it. I seriously love that movie and everything it stands for, so to get that vibe right from the start immediately made me like this book more then I probably would have. Because I have to face facts, Simon was whiny, Cassie was kind of rude, and Simon’s friends drove me a little batty at times. I also found a lot of the plot and side stories to be really unrealistic and farfetched. But with that said I will admit to finding it entertaining. I also found some of Simon’s dialogue funny so that aided to the reading process.

Really though FML was a bit of a stretch for me. It was a quick read and not painful to read to the point that I was rolling my eyes. I just didn’t find it 100% on the believable factor and even the Can’t Hardly Wait connection couldn’t help me like this one more. In the end it was what I said at the beginning of this review, just an okay book.

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