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In a one-of-a-kind collaboration, seventeen of the most recognizable YA writers—including Shaun David Hutchinson, Neal and Brendan Shusterman, and Beth Revis—come together to share the viewpoints of a group of students affected by a school shooting.
It took only twenty-two minutes for Kirby Matheson to exit his car, march onto the school grounds, enter the gymnasium, and open fire, killing six and injuring five others.
But this isn’t a story about the shooting itself. This isn’t about recounting that one unforgettable day.
This is about one boy—who had friends, enjoyed reading, playing saxophone in the band, and had never been in trouble before—became a monster capable of entering his school with a loaded gun and firing bullets at his classmates.
Each chapter is told from a different victim’s viewpoint, giving insight into who Kirby was and who he’d become. Some are sweet, some are dark; some are seemingly unrelated, about fights or first kisses or late-night parties. This is a book told from multiple perspectives—with one character and one event drawing them all together—by some of YA’s most recognizable names.
About the Author
Shaun David Hutchinson is the author of The Deathday Letter, fml, and The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley.
Other contributing authors include Neal and Brendan Shusterman, Beth Revis, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Courtney Summers, Kendare Blake, Delilah S. Dawson, Steve Brezenoff, Tom Leveen, Hannah Moskowitz, Blythe Woolston, Trish Doller, Mindi Scott, Margie Gelbwasser, Christine Johnson, E.M. Kokie, and Elisa Nader.
Read an Excerpt
You take off your belt.
And it happens again.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is an overall fantastic novel. Each author (17 to be exact) wrote a different story that somehow connects to each other -- every story was different, but they all had similar aspects. This book is highly recommended to those who want to seek a deeper into the way people think and feel -- especially high school students. It was written with one very important motive in mind, and you must read to figure out what that motive is. Do you like reading something that makes you feel angry, sad, confused, and yet happy? Read this novel.
This is one of the most thought-provoking and unique books I have read. Since each part was written by a different author, you got to read 17 different styles and about all of those different characters. It was an creative way to look at such a tough topic. Yet it never felt preachy or heavy-handed. It was not an easy read, but it made me stop and think about greater issues in the world.
I'll confess: I went into the book with mixed thoughts, because books predicated around school shootings can often be tricky territory. They're sometimes done exceptionally well, but I wasn't sure how the multiple perspectives would factor into Kirby's story. Would it ultimately detract away from helping readers develop a full picture of both the shooter and the event itself? Well, I shouldn't have worried. Because Shaun Hutchinson and seventeen of the most talented writers in YA have teamed up to share the puzzle pieces of Kirby's life with insight provided by friends and classmates, who were both intimately and broadly acquainted with him. Through each story, we get a little closer to just what could have possibly drove Kirby to this end. While each of the stories stand on their own merit, it doesn't seem fair to judge them individually. So I'll just say that in terms of the whole picture, each story adds a piece to the puzzle that is Kirby, showing just why this young man has been driven to these violent ends. Each story ultimately asks, and sometimes outright challenges the reader, to ask the question of just what - if anything - could have been done differently to prevent this tragedy from happening. While the temptation is to just write Kirby off as a homicidal monster, something that Beth Revis's main character struggles with in "Violent Beginnings", we see accutely through stories of possibility denied like "The Girl Who Said No" by Trish Doller, or the gentle and painful truths of "Feet First" by Margie Gelbwasser, that this was a young man with complexities and challenges reinforcing his humanity, but also making the end result all the more troubling. While Violent Ends is a challenging, and often times painful read, it's also a welcome and much needed-look at a reality that has unfortunately become more and more commonplace. Final verdict: Violent Ends is an important book in all respects, but especially for younger readers. Sure to provoke a lot of conversation and discussion, and I would like to introduce this book - with care - to the young readers in my life.