Sunday, April 21, 2013

Book Review: One Breath Away

Last December, I found a book online about a school shooting. The topic intrigued me. As a teacher, that's my worst nightmare. But I love reading stories about things that scare me. I started reading One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf just before bed one night. And then the next day the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut happened. It was surreal to be wrapped up in a fictional story of a gunman in an elementary school while I was watching it happen on CNN.


Goodreads always posts synopses that are better than ones I could ever write. Here is what they have to say about One Breath Away

In her most emotionally charged novel to date, New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf explores the unspoken events that shape a community, the ties between parents and their children and how the fragile normalcy of our everyday life is so easily shattered. In the midst of a sudden spring snowstorm, an unknown man armed with a gun walks into an elementary school classroom. Outside the school, the town of Broken Branch watches and waits.

Officer Meg Barrett holds the responsibility for the town's children in her hands. Will Thwaite, reluctantly entrusted with the care of his two grandchildren by the daughter who left home years earlier, stands by helplessly and wonders if he has failed his child again. Trapped in her classroom, Evelyn Oliver watches for an opportunity to rescue the children in her care. And thirteen-year-old Augie Baker, already struggling with the aftermath of a terrible accident that has brought her to Broken Branch, will risk her own safety to protect her little brother.

As tension mounts with each passing minute, the hidden fears and grudges of the small town are revealed as the people of Broken Branch race to uncover the identity of the stranger who holds their children hostage.

This book gripped me from the very first page. It is told from different perspectives, which is my favorite style of novel to read. It helps me get the whole picture instead of just knowing one person's point of view. I related the most to the teacher in this novel, for obvious reasons. Although I teach middle school, I have a feeling a situation like this would be equally as terrifying. 

Most people I know would probably not enjoy a book like this -- at least not right now. There have been too many shootings in the USA in recent times, so it hits close to home for many people. However, if curiosity gets the best of you like it did me, check out One Breath Away.

10 comments:

  1. I'm not a huge fan of reading, but this book actually sounds really interesting!
    -Nicole
    http://www.lungesandlace.com/

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    1. It really is interesting! I was nervous to read it, but I did enjoy it :)

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  2. It does sound good, if sad. Thanks for the review-I'm a huge bookworm and always looking for my next read!

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    1. Definitely sad but worth the read! :)

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  3. I'm a little hesitant to read something like this, I have a pretty weak side emotional. But I might check this out. Thanks for the recommendation.

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    1. It's worth looking into at least -- I hope you enjoy it if you read it! :)

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  4. Sounds like a weird read. Ill check this out, but I don't know if I can handle it.

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    1. It is strange, but if you like reading, you may enjoy it! :)

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  5. I just downloaded this to my Kindle. Did you read Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult?

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    1. Awesome! And yes, I LOVE Picoult's books, and that one is one of my favorites by her. :)

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