I know it’s been a while, but I have a new review for you guys for a book that I really enjoyed!
I was sent this book from Scholastic in return for an honest review, and I am so excited to finally hash out all of my thoughts regarding the novel!
Let’s jump into it!
Release Date: August 28th, 2018
Pages: 336 Pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: YA and Contemporary
It’s been three years since the Virgil County High School Massacre. Three years since my best friend, Sarah, was killed in a bathroom stall during the mass shooting. Everyone knows Sarah’s story–that she died proclaiming her faith.
But it’s not true.
I know because I was with her when she died. I didn’t say anything then, and people got hurt because of it. Now Sarah’s parents are publishing a book about her, so this might be my last chance to set the record straight . . . but I’m not the only survivor with a story to tell about what did–and didn’t–happen that day.
Except Sarah’s martyrdom is important to a lot of people, people who don’t take kindly to what I’m trying to do. And the more I learn, the less certain I am about what’s right. I don’t know what will be worse: the guilt of staying silent or the consequences of speaking up . . .
So this novel was one that I found very important, especially in the times right now. Seeing as how it was about a school shooting and followed the lives of the survivors, I found it to be incredibly impactful and insightful.
This novel was written in the format of a diary/letter from the main character as well as several of the secondary characters. It gave insight into the lives of these kids who survived a school shooting in which many of their peers died.
I found the entirety of this novel very interesting, there was a small mystery throughout the novel, which had me very intrigued to find out what the secret was and how things really played out during the school shooting.
I was all in for most of this novel until about halfway in we learnt the truth behind the mystery. I found that after I found out what I wanted to find out, I lost a bit of interest in what happened next. Of course the stories that these characters had to share were important and something that I was glad that I read, but the mystery element of the novel was gone and it made the “edge of your seat” feeling dissapate from me whilst reading the rest of the novel.
That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed learning about all of the characters and being a part of their journey healing and growing from the horrendous situation they experienced.
We got to hear the story a couple years post the shooting, but I’m glad that we got to experience a couple flashbacks and see how the days and months following the shooting were for these kids and how those experiences influenced who they are now.
Religion was also a huge part of this novel and it was frustrating to see how some of the people in this town acted and treated some of these kids, all to keep their perfect story alive. This was by far one of the most annoying things for me as a reader to read, especially because there was nothing really done to deal with these people.
The format of this novel was something that I found drew me in. The letter format it was written in really made me feel like I was being personally spoken to, and the essays dispersed throughout from the other survivors gave us different perspectives to the story.
All in all, this novel was an incredibly quick read for me but an incredibly impactful one. It’s heartbreaking to think that this is a reality for so many kids around the world, especially now. I only wish that we can prevent any further deaths and school shootings, in turn preventing these kids from living their lives in fear and having to live with memories so terrifying.
Obviously there is a huge trigger warning. Don’t read this novel if you don’t want to hear about a school shooting and how the lives of these kids were ended. It does get a bit graphic when the stories are being told, so if those things trigger you I wouldn’t recommend picking this novel up.
That concludes my review for That’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger!
Thank you so much for reading and don’t forget to follow my blog as well as my other social media sites!
Until next time,