***I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way influenced my opinion. The review below reflects my open and honest thoughts.***
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.
The auditorium doors won’t open.
Someone starts shooting.
Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.
It feels like once a week we hear about another school shooting – be it in a high school, at the university level, in the U.S. or in another country. And every time I see this heart-breaking news, I wonder why. Why is there so much violence in this world? What causes somebody to snap like this and go on a rampage, hurting and killing innocent people? So when I read the synopsis for this book, I knew that even though it may be a difficult, emotional read, it was an important story that needed to be heard.
This book is poetic. Beautifully written with so many quotable moments. We follow a few different characters throughout the story. One being the sister of the shooter, Autumn. Her perspective was definitely the most interesting to read about. I can’t imagine being locked in an auditorium, paralyzed by fear at the realization that there was someone with a gun in the room and then to discover that person is your brother? My heart went out for this girl. Not to mention her situation at home and the recent loss of her mother. This girl had so much to deal with and all she wanted to do was escape the small town she was confined to and dance. I loved that she was a dancer and I loved seeing her passion leak through the brick walls she has built up around herself.
Then there’s Sylv, Autumn’s girlfriend, the only one that Autumn lets in. Sylv is terrified of Tyler, the shooter, for many different reasons. Obvious ones and not so obvious ones. I loved how Sylv wanted to protect Autumn. I loved how she wanted to help her escape. But I also loved how much Sylv cared about her family. She was close to her mom and her siblings and I loved seeing those family relationships.
There were a few other characters we followed like Sylv’s brother and Tyler’s ex-girlfriend, but Autumn and Sylv were definitely my favorites. I loved their relationship together. I loved their strength and courage. This was a moving book filled with raw emotion. It will make you think. It will make you cry. Most importantly, it will show you that humanity is strength and that in the face of tragedy, humans band together and out of all that pain and misery comes a thing of a beauty.
Have you read this book yet? What did you think? Did you find it to be realistic and believable? Did you enjoy Autumn and Sylv’s relationship as much as I did?