Monday, March 20, 2017


Author: Barry Lyga
Info: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, copyright 2017, 304 pages
Release Date: April 18, 2017

A chunk of old memory, adrift in a pool of blood.

Sebastian Cody did something horrible, something no one--not even Sebastian himself--can forgive. At the age of four, he accidentally shot and killed his infant sister with his father's gun.

Now, ten years later, Sebastian has lived with the guilt and horror for his entire life. With his best friend away for the summer, Sebastian has only a new friend--Aneesa--to distract him from his darkest thoughts. But even this relationship cannot blunt the pain of his past. Because Sebastian knows exactly how to rectify his childhood crime and sanctify his past.

It took a gun to get him into this.

Now he needs a gun to get out.

Unflinching and honest, Bang is as true and as relevant as tomorrow's headlines, the story of one boy and one moment in time that cannot be reclaimed. 

~Goodreads Description

You're not going to believe this...but we've got another dead sibling book on our hands!  That seems to be my pattern for 2017.  (Not sure "dead sibling" warrants an exclamation mark in the above sentence, but...)

Sebastian Cody is a killer.  When he was only four years old he accidentally shot his baby sister.  To say that the incident had a lasting impression on him would be an understatement, and ten years later, the deed still haunts him.  With his sights set on the end of the summer and and his one chance to truly move on, an unexpected friendship changes his life forever.

This book had me at "Barry Lyga," and it didn't disappoint (despite a similar plotline to four other books I've read this year).  Lyga's characters are complicated, multi-faceted, and genuine, pulling you into the story and their lives.  At the beginning of the book, Sebastian is a broken boy who feels like each day is on borrowed time.  Through the relationships he build over the course of the summer, he comes to find acceptance and forgiveness, two things that had been missing in his life since the fateful day his sister was killed.  There are big discussion sprinkled throughout the book without being heavy handed or soap-boxy (there are a few authors I wish could learn that trick).

Even if this type of story isn't your favorite - trust in Lyga.

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