Friday, May 29, 2015

Early Release Review: Violent Ends by Shaun Hutchinson

Violent EndsViolent Ends by 
Publisher: Simon Pule
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Pre order: Amazon
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.
My thoughts:
I discovered this hidden gem at TXLA and I was beyond excited to start it. After finishing it I am left with a strange feeling and honestly it's taken me a few days to sit down and right this review.  I've found it's hard to separate myself from the story because of my family and this really shoves the dangers that lurk in schools right in your face and I am terrified.  Yes I know these dangers have been there for awhile, but I guess going day to day you just don't think about them.  Now though I found I just hold on a little tighter to certain people in the morning and the day after I finished this I even cried after driving away.  This is a tough issue that I don't think anyone is prepared for so if you pick this up just hold your heart because it's going to break in two.

Violent Ends is the story if a high school shooting. What makes this book incredible is that every chapter is told from a different point of view and was written by a different author.  This amazing author line up includes Neal Schusterman, Kendare Blake, Trish Doller, Courtney Summers and so many more.  Seventeen to be exact.  What each chapter has in common though is Kirby, the shooter. 

I'm not lying when I tell you that I had chills while I read this. It was very tough to get through at certain points.  Some chapter did feel a little disconnected and honestly those gave me a chance to breathe a little.  A few chapters really stood out and one was the point of view from the gun.  I won't spoil who wrote it because for some reason I just think it's important to experience that on your own, but OMG it was chilling!  I had to put the book down after that one and just get some distance.  The others weren't as intense, but they all carried something within them that felt sad and broken.  They really made me wonder about the aftermath in real life.

The only thing I wish I would have gotten was Kirby's story.  We get to see him through seventeen pairs of eyes, but I wanted to see through his.  We sort of get a glimpse into the whys of his actions, but I don't understand.  I don't think we are supposed to though so I guess this will just have to be okay.  Kirby was so many things and I can't help but feel conflicted towards him.  Was he a monster yes most definitely, but did he have problems from multiple sides and I just don't know what to feel. I'm angry and a big ole mixed bag of emotions.

This book destroyed me and I can guarantee that the next 10 I read will be HEA's and complete fluff because I need that in my life right now.  This was too real and yes I think it needs to be out there, but I can still grab all my fluff and mean it.

4.5 snowflakes


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