Saturday, November 18, 2017
Dear Charlie by N.D. Gomes
Release Date: October 20, 2016
Buy it: Amazon | Book Depository
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.
This book has the potential to become massive if only the right people picked this book up and read it. People like Cait, Jesse, Kat and Christine who have the power to make people read books (I know there are other people but these were the only people I could think of). Because oh. my. God. This book was incredible.
There have been several books that have focused on school shootings, but this is the first one I've read about the family of a shooter. This story really displayed the trauma that the families of shooters have to go afterwards, the way the media twists stories and the mess that shooters leave. It was incredible to read this different perspective and see how everyone else is affected.
I loved the fact that none of the characters in this book were perfect. Usually writers make the characters too perfect and forgiven but N.D Gomes did not shy away from making his characters normal human beings. He made you feel sorry for Sam from the first chapter, before you were even connected to him. Sam was trying to hold everything together for his family, without having anyone to help, which obviously meant that he was bottling up all his very negative thoughts which is not healthy! Izzy, the main girl, was always changing her personality to fit in with her current friend group and so no one ever knew what she is actually like. However, the best character in this book was Charlie because nobody knew why he decided to commit this shooting and honestly that is such a true message about school shooters. No one ever finds out why they did it, they can only speculate.
The writing style was a little simplistic but it worked for the story. Everything that was written was chosen carefully that you felt so wrapped up in the story and Sam's life. Every little thing that happened in the book felt like it was happening to you which made this story that little bit harder to read. And this ending was the best ending I've read all year. Without spoiling too much it showed the growth of every single character in this universe and the changes that they just had to accept. Seriously, it was just such an incredible ending.
I would highly recommend everyone picks up this book and gives it a try. The best thing about this book is that is quite short so you should be able to fly through it without much troubles. And trust me this book will fly by as soon as you start reading it.