“This is not a book about a tragedy. This is a book about survivors, and hope, and belief. I wish this book wasn’t necessary, but it is. Read it. And then pass it on.” —Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces
“A whip-smart anddeeply felt story about reclaiming life from the rubble of guilt and trauma, Four, Three, Two, One glows brilliantly with heart, humanity, and hope.” —Brendan Kiely, New York Times bestselling coauthor of All American Boys and author of Tradition
Golden “Go” Jennings wasn’t supposed to be on Bus 21 the day it blew up in New York City. Neither was her boyfriend, Chandler. But they were. And so was Rudy, a cute stranger Go shared a connection with the night before. And Caroline, a girl whose silence ended up costing nineteen people their lives.
Though it’s been a year since the bombing, Go isn’t any closer to getting over what happened. With Chan completely closed off to even talking about it, Go makes an impulsive decision: round up the rest of the survivors and head to New York City. There they will board an art installation made of the charred remnants of Bus 21 and hopefully reach some sort of resolution.
But things are never easy when it comes to rehashing the past. Uniting the four stirs up conflicting feelings of anger and forgiveness, and shows them that, although they all survived, they may still need saving.
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.60(d)|
|Age Range:||14 Years|
About the Author
Courtney “Court” Stevens grew up among rivers, cornfields, churches, and gossip in the small-town South. She is a former adjunct professor, youth minister, and Olympic torch bearer. She has a pet whale named Herman, a band saw named Rex, and several books with her name on the spine: Faking Normal, The Lies About Truth, Golden Kite Honor Book and Kirkus Best Book of the Year Dress Codes for Small Towns, and Four Three Two One. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee. You can visit her online at www.courtneycstevens.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Golden "Go" Jennings and three other teens are the sole survivors of a bus bombing in NYC. Each had a different reason for being on the bus, and each has a different reason for feeling survivor's guilt. Go and her boyfriend Chandler are in NYC headed to Ellis Island to recreate a photo taken many years ago when Go's grandparents entered the country as immigrants. Their destination is the same, but as they enter the bus, their relationship is crumbling. Each is feeling guilty about something and wondering how to be honest about what they feel. Rudy is sightseeing. He thinks his life may be about to change because he just met Go, but in minutes it will be changing for an entirely different reason. Caroline is boarding the bus with her abusive boyfriend knowing her recent actions may be the reason people are about to die. The four survivors are on a return trip to NYC to attend a sort of memorial for the bus bombing victims. The journey is complicated by emotional as well as physical challenges. Each teen is hoping the trip will answer questions and provide closure, but they will have to be willing to open their minds to the possibility of a future they may not be ready to confront. Author Courtney Stevens takes readers on this journey filled with painful memories and often paralyzing fear. She deftly creates each character's story and reveals them in a way that is sure to mesmerize readers and keep them thinking long after the book is finished.
A story of letting go of guilt, moving on, and finding something to live for, Four Three Two One takes place a year after a fatal bombing attack and the effect it had on its four survivors. Told mostly through the point of view of Go Jennings, one of the teens, and partly through Caroline, another survivor and the ex of the suicide bomber, the story is heartfelt, and heart-breaking in equal measure. Approaching the first anniversary of the attack, Go has been trying to overcome her fear of buses, and when one of the medics who saved the teens invites them all for an unveiling of the memorial he has rebuilt for the survivors and victims of the bombing, she wants to go back there and prove to herself that she can move on. Her boyfriend Chan, (another survivor) and she have been living in a commune all their lives, and he is reluctant to leave the safety of their home town again. So she decides to go collect the other two survivors – Rudy, and Caroline – on her own. Along with her for the long journey from Kentucky to New York is her friend, Becky, who she slowly gives insight of the incident, as well as the aftermath. Their friendship and the developing romantic relationships are wonderfully written. The first half of the story drags in its pacing, constantly circling around the love triangle of Rudy, Go and Chan. Go and Chan haven’t had a good year in the aftermath of the bombing, and she is frustrated by his refusal to talk about the incident and them surviving it, so she has been stewing in the guilt of it being her fault that they were on the bus, and the fact that she has been feeling closer to Rudy. Towards the middle of the book, though, it starts to lead into the central plotline. Rudy has been dealing in his own way – having lost function of his legs, and dealing with people’s reactions to him being in a wheelchair – by writing about the incident as a book. Caroline, meanwhile, has been bullied, as well as harming herself, because she has a lot of guilt over helping her abusive ex with the bomb (she didn’t know at the time what it would be used for) and being the catalyst for the aggression that led to the bombing. So basically, when they get together, you are seeing a complex soup of emotions, and how they manifest in their interactions with each other. Slowly, it is also piecing together the story of the events leading up to the bombing, and each of their supposed roles, and why they feel guilt over it. Overall, it is a beautifully written story, with complex characterization that brings out the various aspects of grief, guilt and healing, in the aftermath of a tragedy.