The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.
The auditorium doors won't open.
Someone starts shooting.
Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.
Shona's review 5 of 5 stars
The blurb says it all really, this story unfolds in 54 harrowing minutes. And for the entirety of this story I was unable to put the book down and step away from it. I was glued to the unfolding events with my heart in my stomach.
We have four points of view in this story, and it took me a little while to realise that all 4 POV's are connected in some way, originally I thought that one of them might be the shooter (sorry Tomas) and I wasn't sure exactly how I would feel reading from his POV, but thankfully that wasn't the case.
This may be a tale of a school shooting, but it is so much more than that. We have the story of a girl who just wants to dance, to escape what her life has become. The story of a girl who is struggling between the life she wants and the life she feels she will end up with. The story of a girl who just wants to do right by her family, to help out where she can. The story of a boy who just wants to protect his sister, who ultimately saves so many more.
This is without a doubt, an awful tale to tell, the truth is that this shit happens, more regularly than it should, but I feel that Nijkamp has done a remarkable job of telling this tale. She does not glorify it, she does not imply that this happens and we should just accept it.. but she does show us, that even in the darkest of circumstances, there are heroes willing to put their life on the line to save those that they love, those that they know, those that they can.
This story may unfold over 54 minutes, and it may have taken me 3 hours to read it, but this is a story that will stay with me for far longer.