Violent Ends-Book Review

Violent Ends by Shaun David Hutchison (and various other YA authors)

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Rating: 5/5

Genre: YA Contemporary

Kirby Matheson brought a gun to school to kill his classmates and himself. But this isn’t really a story of the actual shooting. This tells the interactions people had with Kirby throughout his life. Told through 17 different perspectives (each written by a different YA author), snapshots of Kirby’s life, the good and the bad, come together to paint a picture of this boy who thought a gun was the answer.

An amazing book! I literally could not put it down.  As a disclaimer, I do have a weird interest in books about school shootings (being a teacher it is unfortunately something I think about too often).  At first the idea of 17 perspectives scared me a little. That’s a lot of people to keep track of, but each person is the voice only once in the book. They each get their own chapter although the characters do intertwine a bit at times.  

I also thought it was a cool idea to have different YA authors pen each chapter. Each author brought their own unique voice and perspective to the book. For the most part it is not actually about the day of the school shooting. It doesn’t detail all of the terror and the minute by minute actions and feelings of that day.  These authors detail events from Kirby’s childhood, through high school, a bit about the day of the shooting, and even the aftermath.  With all these different perspectives, the reader gets to see so many different sides to this killer some point clearly in the direction of a heartless and cruel killer and others paint a picture of a caring and thoughtful young man. 

In a nutshell: Fantastic writing. Intriguing take on a book about a school shooting. Will be on the top of my “must read” recommendation list. 

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