Saturday 20 August 2016

Review: Dear Charlie by N.D. Gomes


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.

Dear Charlie was one of the many books i have brought home with me from YALC and i couldn't wait to read it. The blurb just sounded amazing and very unique. Not only have I never come across a book about school shooting but I was even more intrigued by the fact that it was based in the UK. Dear Charlie is the story of Sam who is dealing with the aftermath of his brothers horrific actions. Charlie, Sam's older brother, shot several people at his school before he took his own life too. Now Sam is struggling to understand why his brother would do something like this, while mourning his brother and dealing with the hate towards his family from the media as well as everyone around them. Sam's life changes over night, simple things like going to school and going shopping turn into a huge nightmare. To top it off the mood in the house isn't much better. But what this book shows most of all is that no matter what life goes on, no matter how hard and impossible it seems.

I really enjoyed the plot of this book, its one of those books that could start some huge debates. There is so much to talk about. It sort of made me think this would be a good book to read at school and have great talks with your classmates. I believe that there is many different opinions about the subjects surrounding this story, be it the shootings at schools, the media bullying and many more. But while I found it all very interesting I couldn't quite connect with Sam. I am not really sure what it was, there was a slight lack of emotions in some places. That didn't stop me from flying through this book though.

The characters will not stay with me for a long time but the subject will. Seeing news about shootings is heart breaking and hat off to Gomes for touching this subject. I think there should be more books and movies about it, to really highlight not only what happens during these horrific events but also what continues to happen to the victims, their families, as well as the family of the shooter.  

This book will make you think and will open your eyes.

All in all its been a good and quick read and I would recommend it to anyone who would like to read a very different YA.

Dear Charlie will be released on 20th October.

Thank you to Young Adult HQ and the lovely ladies at their YALC stand for my copy.

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