Adam Upton and Thomas “Lee” Harvey are plotting the next big school massacre at their New Hampshire high school. Nicole Janicek, who knew Adam in elementary school, tries to reconnect with the damaged teen at the start of their senior year. But will Nicole’s attempt to befriend the would-be killer disrupt the plot and turn Adam’s life around before the clock strikes 12:14?
Author: Jack Chaucer
First, thank you to Jack Chaucer for providing me with the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. I definitely enjoyed it, and I am grateful!
This is a very quick read that makes a quick impact. When I first started it, the prose felt a bit description-heavy and blunt, and I was definitely turned off when the girls said that Cheryl Strayed “was a real slut back in the day” (can we not exemplify teenage girls slut-shaming each other?), but as I kept reading, there weren’t any other major transgressions, and I got used to the writing style. In fact, it almost reminds me of the style in which The Shack is written. The best part about this style is that you can read it quickly; I got through this book in one sitting on a Saturday evening.
Nikki is a very self-aware young woman with a big heart, and I instantly liked her. I’m looking forward to reading Chaucer’s other two Nikki books in the hope that even more depth is added to her character. From the moment she receives the message that Adam is planning a massacre at her high school, her moral compass points her in the right direction. She battles mean girls, peer pressure, biased administrators, social stereotypes, and her own will to do good, but her heart never waivers.
I appreciate the way Chaucer obviously took his inspiration from Newtown and the heroes who gave their lives that day. He took his pain from that event and turned it into a story that demonstrates our need to reserve judgment, to reach out to those who are different from us, and to do something. I do think that further storyline and character development could have taken this book from a quick bite of morality to a true heart-rending piece of inspiration. BUT. It was absolutely worth my Saturday evening!