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It really is a bit like that. A group of disparate high school students, each disgruntled in their own ways, are forced to bond in school in an unusual situation, revealing their secrets slowly until commonalities and comradeships are formed. Except it's not in detention (or with Simple Minds playing). A bomb has been detonated at their school. And most likely - by one of them.
Yes, this got my attention when I saw the synopsis. Of course it did. A mystery alongside adolescent angst. I quite liked NEED last year, a fantastic concept, and this also moves along between characters quickly giving you a feel for each potential 'assailant' (though on audiobook, this took a while to straighten out in my head) and gets to the meat of the plot quickly.
The bomb scene itself is well done, I thought this worked well on audiobook as the narration flits from one student to another through the course of the day.
Each character is given a roughly equal amount of time, they each air their problems and lives, stereotypes are dealt with (yes there's a Muslim student who is a possible bomber), and we are left to work out who the actual perpetrator is and why.
And it's a great ending! I liked the fact that it didn't conform to the usual, and did bring surprises. Some great character work here, with a variety of pertinent issues for readers to identify with.
Considering this is narrated by one female, the voices came across quite naturally as I think back, nothing forced about the males' voices. It flowed well and though it was hard to start with keeping account of each storyline/character, this eased up as the voices separated them out.
One for ages 13 and above, with warnings on the violent nature of the plot.
With thanks to Nudge Books for the sample copy through Audible, provided for an honest review.