Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 18, 2017
Date Read: April 11, 2017
Source: The Novl
A heartbreaking novel about living with your worst mistake, from New York Times bestselling author Barry Lyga.
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.
What a powerful book this turned out to be! I am not someone who cries over books. I have done it before but it may happen only one time every couple of years. I almost couldn't figure out why the page was suddenly blurry but then I realized that my eyes were filled with tears which were making it hard to continue reading. This book melted my little heart of ice just a bit because it completely got to me. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to read this gem of a book.
This book isn't afraid to deal with tough issues. I am really surprised by how many important issues are tackled in this story and they are all done well. Gun safety, teen suicide, and prejudice all play a major role in this story. I have to admit that this book made me stop and think about how I would deal with these issues not only if I were in the character's place but also how I would react if as the adult in a teenager's life.
Sebastian has grown up shouldering an enormous amount of guilt. More guilt than any one person should have to deal with much less grow up with. Ten years ago when he was only four years old he shot and killed his baby sister. Imagine what he goes through every single day knowing what he did. People treat him differently because they know he is the kid that killed his sister. He sometimes just wants it all to stop.
I loved the characters in this book. They were so real to me as I read this story. Sebastian was pretty amazing. His range of emotions were wonderfully illustrated during the course of the story. His mother seemed to be having a difficult time dealing with day to day life much like Sebastian. They were able to function but neither seemed to be really able to deal with the past. Aneesha was a positive addition to Sebastian's life and her outlook on life was refreshing.
I would highly recommend this book to others. It is short but it packs a punch. The writing was absolutely excellent with wonderful pacing. I look forward to reading more from this talented author soon.
I received an advance reader edition of this book from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers via TheNovl.com.
About the Author
Barry Lyga is the author of several acclaimed young adult novels, including Bang, After the Red Rain, the I Hunt Killers trilogy, and his debut, The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl. Barry lives and writes in New York City.