Title: Until I Break
Author: Kara Bietz
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Published Date: November 1st 2016
Genre: YA, Social Issues, Shooting
My Rating: ★ ★ ★
Two boys: One, a star
athlete and top student with a deep-seated need to prove himself. The
other, a chip-on-his-shoulder quarterback who will never settle for
second best. When gunshots echo through the halls of Broadmeadow High
School, whose finger is on the trigger?
A year before the
shooting, Sam North has a bright future as a well as a problem that
nobody else seems to see—Ace Quinn, his neighbor and teammate. For
years, Ace has been bullying and harassing Sam, yet he’s managed to
deftly conceal his actions and threats from the rest of the world. As
Ace’s secret rage intensifies, Sam becomes more desperate to stop him.
But how far will he go? And what if Ace takes his threats even farther?
MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
We have Sam whose home life is rather unstable due to his dad having died several years ago and his mother now having problems coping with life after her husband dying suddenly. Leaving Sam to not only make sure that she is okay, but to also keep up appearances. Sure grandpa is involved as well, but he's not exactly sure how best to handle this situation nor does he really like to talk about emotional things. Leaving Sam feeling more and more alone as time goes on.
Then we have Ace who has been taught from a very young age that he must always be the best, and he must do whatever it takes to be the best. His father has put an extreme amount of pressure on him to not only do well in sports, but in every other aspect of life as well. When Ace doesn't seem to live up to those standards he gets bullied by his father.
With Ace having relentlessly been bullying Sam through childhood (they live across the street from each other) and then they both end up liking the same girl. Things go from being a bad situation to a very awful one in the span of a senior year.
Sam starts becoming obsessive about things because Ace always acts like a bully when no one else is around. Making Sam look like the one causing all the problems. When in all actuality he's just been trying to avoid the guy.
This was a hard book to read. But one I am glad I did read. It showed what lead the even to happen and why it happened. It also showed how the shooter had to deal with things after and how everyone started to treat him after as well. While I don't think this book is for everyone, because it deals with such a tough subject with a school shooting. It is something that has been addressed in a very real way in this book. I found it interesting to see things from the shooters perspective instead of just from the victims perspective. Actually getting to know why he did it was interesting. I don't agree with him doing it, but you can see the logic behind it when you see how lacking his support system was.
This book will defiantly make me reevaluate me availability to others and making sure I'm giving them the opportunity to tell me if they need help with something or they feel themselves going down a bad path.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.