Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book follows Sam and the aftermath of a shooting at his school. His brother was the shooter. I admire writers that don’t rely on drama and action but are prepared to explore the aftermath of said drama and action. So many books end with a big action packed climax and only a paragraph or epilogue to explore the consequences of traumatic events. Gomes does that, but also looks at the family of the guilty party. Charlie has killed people in the school Sam went to, and his family is splintered by not knowing why he did. This book explores the ramifications of not knowing why someone close to you committed a crime. How do you cope when you can’t get the answers you need to get closure.
Following Sam, we see how the unanswered questions and the abuse that they suffer from being the only ones the grieving families can blame, fractures Sam and his family. It was heart-breaking seeing Sam sink slowly to rock bottom as he desperately tries to grapple with this horrific time in his life. He is so young, and the author shows how his young mind is trying to address issues that even though most clued up adult would struggle to get through.
The ending of this book was fantastic; it left the reader with a really positive feeling. Even though trauma can be devastating at the time. Getting through it is possible. Time is the biggest healer, and this book portrays this exceptionally well. This is an emotional read and a journey through grief and the feeling of not really knowing what is going on in the head of people close to you. Hopefully, this book will raise awareness of depression in teenagers and make people try and recognize the signs earlier. But if they can’t, then this book can show them that there is a way to move forward.
You can get this book at all good retailers or Amazon.