Thursday, January 24, 2013

This Is Not a Drill

This Is Not a DrillThis Is Not a Drill
Beck McDowell
From: Library

Grade: C
Audience: Teens

Two teens try to save a class of first-graders from a gun-wielding soldier suffering from PTSD.

When high school seniors Emery and Jake are taken hostage in the classroom where they tutor, they must work together to calm both the terrified children and the gunman threatening them—a task made even more difficult by their recent break-up. Brian Stutts, a soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq, uses deadly force when he's denied access to his son because of a custody battle. The children's fate is in the hands of the two teens, each recovering from great loss, who now must reestablish trust in a relationship damaged by betrayal. Told through Emery and Jake's alternating viewpoints, this gripping novel features characters teens will identify with and explores the often-hidden damages of war.

My thoughts: 
I really wanted to like this book. Though it is a sad topic I still wanted a great book. For some reason I just couldn't. The first thing that could have influences my dislike is how close to the Sandy Hook shooting it is. It was not the same thing, obviously, but it was a a man with a mental illness terrifying a bunch of 1st graders with a gun. I kept flashing back to that with every page.

The other thing about it that I was not too fond of is the way it kept going back to the past. I would just be getting into the story and then *boom* rewind. I would have preferred it having separate chapters for the flashbacks.

If I could ignore those two things it was an okay book. The characters were likable despite their struggles. They had a great chemistry (when they were not being traumatized) and worked well as a team. The little kids were portrayed accurately. You could really feel their innocence.

I recommend this book to people who don't mind going back and forth between time periods.

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