Monday, May 8, 2017

Violent Ends by Various YA Authors

Violent Ends

Kirby Matheson walked into his school and shot 11 people.  Afterwards, all the usual questions are there-- why, how, what made him do it, and how can we make sure it never happens again??

This book explores 17 unique perspectives: from students who survived the attack, to students who knew the shooter, to students who sat on the periphery of it all.

I don't even know how to tell you my feelings on this book.  I've read a few anthology books written by various authors, but THIS by far is the best.  It FELT like one story, it wasn't choppy, and a lot of the chapters related back to characters in other chapters.

My question is HOW??  How did these 17 authors pull this off?  It had to be a coordination nightmare-- and I give Shaun David Hutchinson so much credit for pulling this together so seamlessly.

What I thought this book did really good (and where books like This is Where it Ends failed) was to humanize everyone involved.  Not to say that I think school shooters and other murders should be sympathized with, but I think the issue is bigger than good and bad/black and white-- and far more complicated than "he's just evil" in most cases.

I wanted to know WHO Kirby Matheson was and what brought him to the point where he would do something like this?  I don't think I got all those answers, but I did get to see multiple sides of his character and a much more believable portrait of a boy who winds up being a killer.  I also got to know so many people in his life and how they were affected by it.

My favorite stories in the book:

Presumed Destroyed (Neal Shusterman and Brendan Shusterman)-- which gives us the perspective of the GUN.  It was genius in my opinion.

Grooming Habits (Elisa Nader)-- which was the chapter of a stalker and SO mindfucked me.

Survival Instinct (Tom Leveen)-- which was about an abused girl and made me feel SO much.

History Lessons (Courtney Summers)-- the final chapter, which left me with so many questions, and also made me realize that Courtney Summers is SO good at writing an unlikable teenage boy.

OVERALL: HUGE YES!!  This book blew me away-- most anthology books have fallen flat for me, but this one was full of LIFE.  So creative, so unique, so well-written and pulled together.  I loved how it flowed and almost felt like it could have been written by one author instead of 17.  Recommend to anyone who doesn't have problems reading about super tough stuff like this.

Date Published: 9/1/2015
How I got this book: I bought it
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Add it to your To-Read List!!

My Rating: 5/5

Character: Mark from "Pop" by Christine Johnson
Book: Stay by Deb Caletti

  • It seems like SOMEONE might need to read a book like this before he becomes a guy like the one in this book.  His story definitely had me concerned for Katelyn.

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  1. I have never heard of this before!!! Sounds really heavy but really good. The POV of the gun sounds super interesting. Great review!!

  2. This one sounds really interesting, and definitely something I want to check out one day! Great review!

  3. I have this book just sitting on my shelf cuz the second I realized it was an anthology my interest fell flat. You made this book sound awesome and now I am planning to read it soon. Fantastic review. Also, I love that you rec a book to a character, that's brilliant.

  4. Oh wow. This is a different type of anthology from any I've ever read. What an intriguing concept! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I hadn't heard of it before but I may need to check it out!