I chose this book to read because I have previously read WE ARE THE ANTS and TH FIVE STAGES OF ANDREW BRAWLEY by the Hutchinson. Since I considered both 5 star books, I anticipated another remarkable story, and I was not disappointed.
In essence, this book is about a school shooting, told from 17 different points of view. Although I have read other books with this theme, VIOLENT ENDS was, by far, the most original. Each chapter begins in first person, leaving the reader with no idea who is speaking. As each chapter’s story unfolds, you learn more about the narrator and how their lives were effected by the shooter. Some chapters seem totally unrelated to the story but contributes brush strokes that help paint the entire picture.
One of the many things I loved about this book was that it did not portray the shooter as someone you would hate until the day he pulled the trigger. It delved into the human side of the person and what may have brought him to the place where the shooting would be his inevitable release. However, at no time, does the book make excuses for what he does. Instead, it allows the readers to make the decision themselves, whether or not he could have been saved.
The writing was brilliant and as I expected, the story provided much more than a gratuitous “violent end.” This book would make a perfect book to discuss in a book club or readers’ group. One person’s interpretation of the events may differ completely from another’s, and I think that was the authors’ point.
Although there is no sex in this book, there is language and, as the title states, violence. I would not recommend it to readers under 14 years old. However this is for anyone who seeks meaning in the wake of tragedy.
I give this book 5 stars. I loved it and purchased a copy to keep and read again in the future. I have recommended this to several friends as I believe it is remarkably touching.