Review - Bang by Barry Lyga @barrylyga @TheNovl @lbkids #ReadBang

Bang by Barry Lyga
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.
My Review

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
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.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


  1. This book sounds heavy but good! Great review, thanks for bringing this book to my attention.

  2. I've read Barry Lyga's other book and was blown away by how good it was, so when I saw this I expected good things from him, and I'm so pleased to see he's done siuch a great job on this book! GReat review!

  3. Wow! I can see that this book deals with heavy issues. I am not familiar with the author. Thanks for bringing to my attention.

  4. Oh man, this one sounds so good but also like it will completely wreck me. lol! I'm not a big crier but I think this one would do it. Glad to see you enjoyed it so much! Great review Carole!

  5. Excellent writing and good pacing, sounds good to me!

  6. Perfect 5-star rating! Good pacing is everything to me, I'll definitely check this one out

  7. Oh wow! That would definitely make a huge impact on a reader. And I can see why you cried. I want to cry for this kid just from reading the blurb.

  8. this is the second time I have seen this book around and wow, this sounds so emotional and good. I am going to have to look for it when it comes out. It def deals with some hard issues

  9. Great review! I'm currently reading this one and liking the story. I agree the writing is wonderful and the characters are real. I'm getting anxious more and more as I go so maybe I'll end up in tears by the end too. Glad you liked it :)

  10. Wow this sounds intense, I cannot imagine a child living with guilt like that, how horrible. and obviously it's happened in real life- so incredibly sad. Sounds like a really powerful read!

  11. Really surprised that Barry Lyga has put out a tear-jerker of a book. The cover sure looked unassuming. I might have to check this one out, too!

  12. ohwow, sounds like I need to read this book. If I didn't read your review I'd probably just pass this book without a care. Great review, Carole! I'm adding this to my tbr!

  13. I've heard a lot of good things about Barry Lyga's books! He seems to write suspense/thriller/mystery novels really well. I remember picking up one of his older books in the library years ago, but I never got around to reading it. Maybe someday! I'm glad you enjoyed this book, Carole. :D

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  14. Whew, I don't know if I could handle this one but I'm glad you enjoyed it, Carole.

  15. Great review! I loved this book so much. I am hesitant to try his serial killer series, but I may just give it a shot. I love his writing.


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