by Barry Lyga


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"Fans of 13 Reasons Why will find a lot to like in Lyga's latest." --Entertainment Weekly

This is Where it Ends, Hate List, and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock readers will appreciate this heartbreaking novel about living with your worst mistake, from New York Times bestselling author Barry Lyga.

Sebastian Cody did something horrible, something no one--not even Sebastian himself--can forgive. At the age of four, he accidentally shot and killed his infant sister with his father's gun.

Now, ten years later, Sebastian has lived with the guilt and horror for his entire life. With his best friend away for the summer, Sebastian has only a new friend, Aneesa, to distract him from his darkest thoughts. But even this relationship cannot blunt the pain of his past. Because Sebastian knows exactly how to rectify his childhood crime and sanctify his past. It took a gun to get him into this.

Now he needs a gun to get out.

Unflinching and honest, Bang is the story of one boy and one moment in time that cannot be reclaimed, as true and as relevant as tomorrow's headlines.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316315500
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 04/18/2017
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 764,918
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile: HL720L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Barry Lyga is the author of several acclaimed young adult novels, including Bang, After the Red Rain, the I Hunt Killers trilogy, and his debut, The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl. Barry lives and writes in New Jersey, and invites you to visit his website at

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Bang 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Readingjunky More than 1 year ago
What happens when you are the one mentioned in this headline? Boy, 4, Shoots, Kills Infant Sister. Sebastian Cody was four years old when he picked up his father’s gun and aimed it at his four month old sister. He is now fourteen. Every day he asks himself if today is the day. He knows one shot killed his sister, and he knows one shot could end his pain, end his life. So far the voice in his head has told him the time is not right for the final shot. Meeting Aneesa gives Sebastian a different view of life. She helps him take on his mother’s challenge to do something productive this summer. Sebastian combines his love of making pizza with Anessa’s creative thinking to launch a YouTube channel that takes his mind off the past. But what will happen when Anessa learns the truth? The voice may be telling Sebastian it’s not the right time to fire the final shot, but losing Aneesa might give him a reason. BANG by Barry Lyga deals with heartbreak, gun violence, and grief. Lyga reveals Sebastian’s pain and his constant struggle to deal with the guilt of having killed his sister. His sketchy memory of the actual event, the breakup of his family, and the fact that his name is forever connected with the tragedy make moving on a challenge that may be more than he can survive.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recommend this book to anyone who is into Drama. The book is filled with it. I also recommend this to anyone above 8th grade. Some things in the book are confusing and more adult like. The reason why people that like drama would like it is because throughout the book you don't know what's going to happen next. There is also many words that puzzle younger kids. I did like the book because there was many things you would think and then they would trick you and change everything.
Take_Me_AwayPH More than 1 year ago
When I heard about this book, it was the week it was released. I couldn't understand how I missed it when I LOVED Lyga's Jasper Dent series. But I'm so glad I finally got this book in my hands. Sebastian committed a horrible accident when he was a toddler. He's lived with it his entire life. He doesn't know what to do with the grief he possesses, so he doesn't know what to do but end it. The same way he got his self into this mess. For this to be about something so emotional, I didn't really FEEL IT. I never cried. My eyes didn't even water. I didn't feel it until the end. This is strange because the narrator, Charlie Thurston did a fantastic job with making the book come alive and bringing all the scary and emotional parts come to life. Of course I loved the writing style of this one too. Barry Lyga just has a way with words. This book of his was no different. It was a nice change to see him write about something this challenging and heartfelt, when his other writing features the son of a crazy man lol I think this book really shows his talent. Although it didn't hit as hard as I would have liked, it was still a really great, powerful story. Even though I was late to the party, I'm so glad I decided to read it!
MorrisMorgan More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to like “Bang”. It seems that I’m in the minority in not feeling it. Unfortunately, the book just did not resonate with me. It isn’t that there is not good writing or that the characters aren’t well-developed. Both were good. The problem for me, I believe, is that so many issues were packed into one book that it didn’t have time to focus on any of them enough. Gun control, Islamophobia, mental illness of several types, and the income gap are a few of the things covered. I can’t recommend “Bang”, but if the blurb sounds good to you, give it a try. Maybe it’s just me. This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.
TheThoughtSpot More than 1 year ago
I checked out Bang by Barry Lyga on our school's Overdrive ebooks site. The opening literally blew me away! The narrator states that his sister is gone. She's gone because he killed her! He was four years old at the time and now he's telling the story ten years later. The narrator, Sebastian is just living, but not enjoying anything. He's consumed by guilt and doesn't believe he has any right to be happy. Sebastian has been biding his time until the tenth anniversary of his sister's death because that's when he plans on taking his own life. This story is difficult reading at times, but other times it's friendly and healing. I'm not going to spoil the book for you because it will take the curiosity away and this story is worth reading! Bang is contemporary, realistic fiction for a young adult audience and my rating is 4.5 stars.
Candace-LoveyDoveyBooks More than 1 year ago
The first impression I had after reading Bang was "Wow". Just wow. Barry Lyga tells the story of an unthinkable tragedy that will quickly, and easily, pull readers in. Sebastian Cody's childhood trauma haunts him. His family's loss is so great and each are dealing, or not dealing, with it in their own way. Sebastian's father moved out while his mother refuses to talk about Lola. Sebastian doesn't talk about accidentally killing his baby sister either, but his awareness of the event follows him everyday. Hanging with his one friend, Evan, keeps him feeling semi-normal, until the summer Evan goes away to camp. This is also the summer Sebastian plans to use a gun to right the wrong of his past. Instead it spins into a productive summer of growth and acceptance as the new girl in town, Aneesa, helps Sebastian stand on his own and move toward peace. I really thought Bang was going to be a mildly depressing story, but amazingly Barry Lyga keeps it light when not focusing on Sebastian's pain and healing. The story is still heart wrenching to read, but there's balance as readers get to know the young man who feels like he's shouldering the weight of personal tragedy alone. Interacting with his new friend, Aneesa, keeps the darkness at bay and delights readers with humor. There's cold, hard, honest truth in this novel. Bang is a universal story that captured me through Barry Lyga's unique style of writing. Everyone needs to read Bang!
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
He was four when it happened. Sebastian doesn’t remember what happened that day and no one wants to talk about it to help him remember. He only knows that it was an accident, an accident that no one will forget and one that will haunt him forever. Sebastian has made plans. Occasionally, late at night, Sebastian rides his bike to an old abandon mobile home where he knows when the time is right, he will finally be able to put his mind at rest. For Sebastian feels guilty for killing his baby sister and in the end, he will again pull the trigger and this time, he will take his own life. As I read knowing that Sebastian knew he was going to take his own life sometime in the future, there was this anticipation, this dread and yet this hope that something would come along for him. For Sebastian knew it needed to be done, he needed to take his life for the guilt was eating away at him. He thought everything would be okay when he was gone yet he claimed he didn’t remember what happened that day so I wanted to believe that somehow if he learned the truth, the guilt would vanish. I wanted to race through to the end of this novel to see, to hear, to witness how it turned out but shamefully I didn’t really want to know and I didn’t really want to be a witness to it. The more I read, I kept asking myself, can I stop reading this novel and not know the ending? Will I be okay not knowing if he succeeded in his ultimate goal? Sebastian had one good friend Evan and Evan’s parents did not care for Sebastian. I was hoping that Evan might be his lifeline but the way the story was headed, this possibility was not looking good. With summer approaching, Sebastian’s mother informed him that his lazy days of summer were over and this summer marked the beginning of something new. He needed to be productive. With Sebastian’s state of mind, this set him off and they got into a heated argument. Always in the back of mind, I was wondering if today was “the day” that Sebastian would leave us but luckily Aneesa is moving in the neighborhood and she intrigued him. Aneesa gives Sebastian hope, she was innocent and they hit it off instantly. I couldn’t believe the direction this novel was headed in: the drama, the excitement and the ruckus for it was captivating but I kept asking myself is this really happening? Barry Lyga, you did it again, this novel was amazing. I love the way Barry plays with words, he commands them. There is power in words and he brilliantly uses words to stress a point whether that be five words on a page or the words the characters uses. His words, stop you in your tracks. I highly recommend this novel.
Caroles_Random_Life More than 1 year ago
What a powerful book this turned out to be! I am not someone who cries over books. I have done it before but it may happen only one time every couple of years. I almost couldn't figure out why the page was suddenly blurry but then I realized that my eyes were filled with tears which were making it hard to continue reading. This book melted my little heart of ice just a bit because it completely got to me. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to read this gem of a book. This book isn't afraid to deal with tough issues. I am really surprised by how many important issues are tackled in this story and they are all done well. Gun safety, teen suicide, and prejudice all play a major role in this story. I have to admit that this book made me stop and think about how I would deal with these issues not only if I were in the character's place but also how I would react if as the adult in a teenager's life. Sebastian has grown up shouldering an enormous amount of guilt. More guilt than any one person should have to deal with much less grow up with. Ten years ago when he was only four years old he shot and killed his baby sister. Imagine what he goes through every single day knowing what he did. People treat him differently because they know he is the kid that killed his sister. He sometimes just wants it all to stop. I loved the characters in this book. They were so real to me as I read this story. Sebastian was pretty amazing. His range of emotions were wonderfully illustrated during the course of the story. His mother seemed to be having a difficult time dealing with day to day life much like Sebastian. They were able to function but neither seemed to be really able to deal with the past. Aneesha was a positive addition to Sebastian's life and her outlook on life was refreshing. I would highly recommend this book to others. It is short but it packs a punch. The writing was absolutely excellent with wonderful pacing. I look forward to reading more from this talented author soon. I received an advance reader edition of this book from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers via
Van_shortandsweetreviews More than 1 year ago
Disclosure: I received a review copy from Saichek Publicity/Publisher in exchange for a honest review. 4 1/2 Stars. Contemporaries aren’t usually my thing, let along a novel about gun violence. Gun violence involving children. However, the synopsis had me intrigued and for years now, I’ve been hearing amazing things about Lyga and since I haven’t read any of his work; I thought his new novel would be the perfect introduction. And I am so glad that I read Bang, it was so much better than I expected. Bang dealt with a lot of serious issues, from gun violence, suicide to prejudice. I was a bit surprised, it was a lot for one book. But Lyga handled it and incorporated them seamlessly into the story. All of these issues could be seen pretty much every day in the news, it’s sad how relevant Bang is. And Lyga isn’t afraid to tackle these topic, instead he masterfully shines a spotlight on them and pushes it to the forefront. We always hear about these type of stories, or at least what’s in the news. But we rarely see the aftermath. How it affects the family. What the person at the center of it all thought, is thinking and how it affected their life. The perception of it all from family members to strangers looking in. A lot of questions one may have are left unanswered. But now, Lyga give readers an in-depth, raw look at a theoretical family. And what we see is that beneath the headlines, there’s feelings of guilt, betrayal, pain, hate, grief, loss and the inability, struggle to move on. That you can never forget or erase it. I thought Lyga did an excellent job at capturing the realness of it all. It was raw, in your face, truthful, and necessary. As I read Bang, my heart was breaking for Sebastian and the weighted guilt he’s been carrying since he was four. I wish I could reach out to him and tell him it wasn’t his fault, it was never his fault…he was only a toddler! On top of Sebastian’s heavy burden, he was unable to speak about it because it would cause mental and physical pain, and his mom kept changing the subject every time he tried. He was constantly judged and ridiculed by people and his peers…saying he was a sister/baby killer. All of this kept reinforcing Sebastian’s plan to kill himself, because he believed that he didn’t deserve any happiness, that he didn’t deserve to live. I’ve never cried so much. I felt so sad for Sebastian, no one should have to feel like this or go through it along. Then there’s prejudice which is very much well and alive today. We see the issue of prejudice play out and directed at Sebastian new neighbor and friend Aneesa. Anessa is a smart, funny and sweet girl and she happens to be Muslim. Anessa automatically gets judged because of the color of her skin and for wearing a hijab. People made racist comments online and at school behind her back and yet she never let it bring her down. I loved Anessa and how unapologetic and true she was. She didn’t let anyone’s words make her feel less than herself and she certainly didn’t let them dictate how she lived her life. Anessa rocked! Everyone should read Bang. The issues brought up are extremely important and perfectly portrayed. The writing was superb, bordering poetic and lyrical (there’s truly something special about Lyga’s writing, can’t put my finger on it though but regardless…I love it!). And lastly, the characters. Although this is a fairly short novel, I immediately connected with everyone; everyone was well developed and realistic, like...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That's an imposter. I said no thank you. So find someone else.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why am l here?