Friday, July 6, 2012

One Breath Away

Title: One Breath Away
Publisher: harlequin UK
Pub Date:  July 6th , 2012
Author: Heather Gudenkauf
Received From: NetGalley

One Breath Away

‘He has a gun.'
‘Who? Tell me, where are you? Who has a gun?'
‘I love you, Mum.'
An ordinary school day in March, snowflakes falling, classroom freezing, kids squealing with delight, locker-doors slamming.
Then the shooting started. No-one dared take one breath...
He's holding a gun to your child's head. One wrong answer and he says he'll shoot. 
This morning you waved goodbye to your child. What would you have said if you'd known it might be the last time?

 One Breath Away is a book that took every breath I had away over and over again. We are all aware of violence in schools, you can't say the word Columbine without everyone flashing back to where they were on that day. When I was a freshman in college @ the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley Colorado back in 1996 3 years before the Columbine Shootings we had a gunman on Campus. I had been at school maybe a month and was returning to my dorm room from a morning class. As I walked across the patio an RA yelled at me to get in the building and slammed and locked the door behind me. I asked what was going on and she said to go upstairs and turn on my TV. I returned to my room and switched on the TV with live coverage from Greeley. The dorm across the way from mine had a hostage situation going on. Four girls were being held by one of their ex-boyfriends who wasn't a student at UNC. It was weird, honestly yes it was a bit scary, but I never thought of things like, "is he working alone" or felt in any danger. Really I felt fairly safe. What's sad is that today after we've seen Columbine, and Virginia Tech we don't carry that feeling of safety. 

One Breath Away is a story that takes us through an entire day of  the point of view of the some of the people in town when a gunman takes over a small town in Iowa. This school contains all kids from K-12. It's the last day before Spring Break when a gunman enters the school and one 3rd grade class in particular and takes them hostage. We are greeted with the story from the Teacher in this class Mrs. Oliver , as she works to protect the students and determine the identity of the gunman. We walk through the day with perspectives from our main family the Thwaite's. Holly the mother is in a burn unit in Arizona and has sent her two kids Augie and PJ to stay with her father Will in her small home town of Broken Bend, Iowa. As we move between these characters and what they are learning during this day, we see amazing feats of fear and bravery! There are so many other characters that make up this story and really make it so good. This book moves quickly, keeps you engaged and really is off the charts phenomenal! I couldn't out it down without knowing how each character came out of that day. 


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