Monday, 21 November 2016

Dear Charlie by N.D. Gomes review

Publisher: Harlequin Mira Ink HarperCollins (20 Oct. 2016)

I've had a short break from blogging but I'm back to review a fantastic book!

Dear Charlie is a hard book to read but also an important one. Before I launch into the review, there are a few potential triggers that I want people to be aware of including school shootings, suicide and depression.

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. And Sam has to question all he thought he knew about life, death, right and wrong. (Publishers' blurb)

I have a lot of complex feelings about this book. At times I enjoyed it and felt uplifted, though because of the subject matter there were some very hard scenes to read. I'll try to unpick this in a bit more detail.

The narrative voice is utterly convincing. Sam seemed like a real person and I really felt for him. This sent my emotions reeling because they followed Sam's through the course of the book. I don't always read books that push me to explore difficult emotions but this book handled these areas really well.

I liked the 90s setting and found it very convincing (since this was when I was a teen)! The public reaction to the terrible events also felt realistic. I felt some echoes of 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' in the time period and relationships, though I loved that book so it isn't necessarily a bad thing!

Based on current world events, I think more people should read books about the effects of violence. I might not have enjoyed everything about this book but I think that was necessary given the subject matter. I'm really glad that I read this and I hope lots of people do.

Image result for 4 silver stars

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