Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: YA contemporary thriller
Release Date: May 22nd, 2018
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers – Random House Children’s Books
Source: Physical ARC from publisher which had no influence on my opinion
My rating: 5 stars
Three years after losing her brother Luka in a school shooting, Skye Gilchrist is moving home. But there’s no sympathy for Skye and her family because Luka wasn’t a victim; he was a shooter.
Jesse Mandal knows all too well that the scars of the past don’t heal easily. The shooting cost Jesse his brother and his best friend–Skye.
Ripped apart by tragedy, Jesse and Skye can’t resist reopening the mysteries of their past. But old wounds hide darker secrets. And the closer Skye and Jesse get to the truth of what happened that day, the closer they get to a new killer.
Once again Armstrong has proven to me that she is an expert at writing a page-turner in any genre. Personally I’ve only read her young adult books, but I’ve yet to find one that wasn’t a winner. This one is another 5 star read for me. While the main subject of the story has to do with a school shooting, that isn’t what the story is. We got parts of the story from both Skye and Jesse’s viewpoints, although only Skye’s chapters were told in first person, Jesses’s chapters were third person, and there were not as many chapters for him. Both of them did the usual misunderstanding of the other’s signals and reactions. But when you got the story of the night that Jesse went by Skye’s house right after the shooting, you really understood what Skye had been thinking, even if it had been a misunderstanding.
The way the author set the story up, you are definitely given lots of clues and hints, but still kept guessing the entire way. I like that. Even though I get pretty turned around, I like being kept on my toes as I read, and not being able to figure it out right away. I like that even though you get the bullies like you’d expect, and the people who are still really upset, totally understandably, from losing family in the school shooting, you also get people who understand that it wasn’t the sister’s fault. I like that there were some points that are similar to real-life incidents. The boy who came out of the bathroom with the gun, but as far as anyone knew he may not have actually shot anyone. And what if they’d been able to get help to her brother before he died, maybe a lot of the information about the reasons behind the shooting would have been found out. I like that it is pointed out how sometimes the kids who are really talked about after a shooting tend to be the sports hero, the popular kid, and maybe, just maybe, they weren’t as great of people as they are made out to be. Maybe they had their own problems. But maybe even with those problems, there is a point where it is realized that in that situation, everyone is human, and scared, and you must overlook what they may or may not have done.
Really I liked the characters, the good guys, the bad guys, the bullies, and the adults. This book was not really on my radar until the publisher reached out to me, but just like with the last book I read by Armstrong, I know I’ve got to make sure it is available for the students at my high school.