Friday, September 20, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Streaks of Blue by Jack Chaucer

Streaks of Blue: How the Angels of Newtown Inspired One Girl to Save Her SchoolAdam 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? - from Goodreads.

I recieved this book via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

My initial thoughts was that I should really read the synopsis (you think I'd learn this by now) and not be swayed by the cover. And to read the small print.

When I first started reading the novel, I was like - oh is this a true story? Is it all about the Newton's shooting? Because I didn't sign up for this and truth be told I was almost ready to give up.  Then as I kept scrolling to the next page I kept getting more into it. I realized that it isn't about the Newton's school shooting. It is however using it as a base for the story. A prologue one might say. 

Nicole went hiking one day, and as she was sleeping she had this vision. The children of Newton claimed that she has to become friends with Adam Upton as he was planning on going on a school killing spree.  If she could change his mind, she would save countless lives.

Nicole feels compelled to carryout the angels wishes. She befriends, well tries to befriend Adam. And it shows that it's hard to become friends with someone who isn't on the popular side of things. People for some unknown reason get labeled the first day of school and are stuck, and heaven forbids you sit with someone who has a different socio-economic setting as you. This isn't just a book about a school shooting; it focuses on bullying. And on being that person who is bullied, and how all that torment may just lead them to do the unspeakable.

They way she goes about trying to change Adam's mind, is good. I mean, she tries really hard to get him to focus on other things, to talk to him. But really in two weeks would you to open up to a relative stranger? No. Nicole does tell her best friend, her mom  and the guidance counsel about the dream (withholding Adam's name).  Then her best friend then opens up to the guidance counsel and the principle and they do nothing! I mean, I'm sure this is  how it would happen in real life pre-school shootings, chalking it up to a fear or paranoia. But come on, you think the school would have looked into it a little bit more, especially in the wake of Newton's. No body did anything except hiding in the bathroom or trying to get him to read a book!

Streaks of Blue is a book that should probably be placed in schools; which is where my recommendation would go. The anti-bullying movement needs to continue to make waves. I mean  in Red Deer, Alberta they made bullying a bylaw.  You will get fined if you bully. Which is great, and hopefully it will hinder youths from continuing this bullying thing.   School shootings, unfortunately happen, and i only fear that they are going to continue.  It was interesting to read the perspective of the shooters (Adam and Lee) reasoning, because as sad as it is, there are people like them. We have to be better at making hem see that violence isn't the answer, that things get better, that they just need to chill the f- down.

One little thing that bothered me was the names of Adam and his brother Brody. All I kept thinking of was Adam Brody (you know, Seth from The OC).  And I just couldn't picture Adam Upton as anyone else, and there is no way Seth would have thought about shooting up a school. This isn't any fault to the writer, just my own idiosyncrasy when it comes to names.

"...I was too little, too late, I wasn't enough. We have to reach out to kids sooner. Everybody needs to step outside of their comfort zone and become friends with someone who is different, no matter what that difference is..."


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