Expected publication date: January 5, 2016
Description (taken from Marieke Nijkamp's website):
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.
At the beginning of the year in a small town called Opportunity, students are in an assembly getting pumped for the new semester. Just as the principal finishes her speech about your decisions becoming your future, the students are ready to return to class. But the doors are locked. No one can get out. Gunshots erupt and people realize today is no ordinary day.
Claire, the track star and ROTC officer, has special permission with the track team to skip the assembly. Tomás is convinced a certain student's file in the principal's office holds the key to what's bothering his sister. Autumn is done with the principal's pep talk and ready to be done with the year and out of the city as soon as possible. Sylv is still contemplating whether her reasons for staying in Opportunity outweigh the reasons for leaving as the assembly ends. All of these students become united for less than an hour where they will share tears, heart ache, bravery, and defiance.
This is a quick read that goes through the emotions as quick as the world changes upside down. While being determined to save their own necks, we see a lot of students step up to save their fellow classmen. And what I loved seeing was the siblings fighting for each other. Sylv and Tomás. Claire and Matt. Autumn and Tyler. This book gives no explanations; it just goes through the emotions and the scene. The only thing I kind of disliked is it tried to give an explanation for the shooter. We see his backstory and are pushed to blame the parents. Parents in one way or another will fail their children, but their children's choices are still their own to make. And this only slightly bothered me. But I think that's the point of the story. So many little pieces done slightly wrong which pushes one kid over the edge until he becomes a firecracker.
This book takes about two to three hours to read. And if you like contemporary, pick this one up. It makes you appreciate the little things in life. Friends, family, acquaintances; in the end, that's who we have in this world.
Thanks goes to Around the World ARC Tours for providing me a review copy.