Death should never meet the young. But it did. Thanks to my brother, death made fourteen new friends that day. Maybe even fifteen, if you count Charlie. At sixteen, Sam Macmillan is supposed to be thinking about girls, homework and his upcoming application to music college, not picking up the pieces after the school shooting that his brother Charlie committed. Yet as Sam desperately tries to hang on to the memories he has of his brother, the media storm surrounding their family threatens to destroy everything. And Sam has to question all he thought he knew about life, death, right and wrong.
~I was sent a proof to review - all opinions are my own~
I give it - 5/5
My review - What a heartbreaking novel. This is such an important book that I think everyone should read.
Set in the 90s we start of with our main character Sam writing a letter to his older brother Charlie. A letter asking him why and how he could have done what he did. Sam woke up one day late for school and when he got there the whole place was tapped off. There had been a shooting and his older brother had been shot and killed. Little did they know that later on that day that Sam and his family would have found out it was actually Charlie who went into the school and killed multiple adults and students and injuring others and also, killing himself. Sam's life is falling apart. He thought he knew his older brother, thought they always got along but now he's not so sure.
His father is always hiding himself away and never leaves the house and his mother is just in hysterics and can't believe what has happened. Their house is always getting stuff thrown at it and Sam has to leave his school to go to another one but his name sends fear through the school. He is the brother of the guy who killed loads of people and all Sam wants to do is have a normal life. He wants to tell all the families involved how sorry he is for what his brother did but most of all, he wants to know why and that is something he will never find out.
Sam makes new friends at his school who don't judge him. and he also starts to fall for a girl, who actually has a boyfriend. Things start to get a little bit better for Sam, he goes to therapy so he can talk about what's going on but things aren't so great at home. His parents are always at each other, blaming each other for what happened and things start to happen at school. With a vote coming up to ban guns can Sam come out of this unscathed? Will he be able to live his life?
This book was so sad as you just wanted to give Sam and his family a hug. They are going through something so horrible. On one hand they have just lost their son and brother but on the other hand he was responsible for killing loads of people and they have to deal with all the hate and trying to get through each day. They all feel like they let Charlie down, and they will always wonder what was going through his mind when he did it.
This, again, is such an important read and reading it from the POV of the brother really brought the story together. Gomes has written a powerful story that I think everyone should read as it is chilling and heartbreaking.