Streaks of Blue by Jack Chaucer

 

synopsis pink.pngstreaks of blueAdam Upton and Thomas “Lee” Harvey are plotting the next big school massacre at their New Hampshire high school. Nicole Janicek, who knew Adam in elementary school, tries to reconnect with the damaged teen at the start of their senior year. But will Nicole’s attempt to befriend the would-be killer disrupt the plot and turn Adam’s life around before the clock strikes 12:14?

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2 stars.png*I received a free copy of this eBook via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

When I requested this book from NetGalley, I had no idea that it had been written in memory of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. I realize that the tag line is: “How the Angels of Newtown Inspired One Girl to Save Her School,” but I guess I just didn’t make the connection.

I remember exactly where I was the moment I heard about that tragic event: I was in a classroom, surrounded by angels of my own.

I remember being horrified. Shocked. Devastated. I cried while watching the whole thing unfold on the news. I mean, I can’t understand how any one person can take the life of another, let alone the lives of children. Seriously, I can’t even begin to fathom it, so I admire what Mr. Chaucer has done here.

I applaud him for being passionate enough to create a lasting reminder that honors those who were lost that day. I appreciate his willingness to tackle the hard stuff. School shootings. Discrimination. Bullying. Loss. Grief. I commend him for spreading the message that people, much like books, should not be judged by their covers, and that a few simple acts of kindness can make all the difference in the world. Mr. Chaucer’s heart was definitely in the right place.

But for all of his good intentions, Streaks of Blue did not impact me the way that I’d hoped it would. The plot was missing a certain amount of depth; the characters were regrettably flat. The dialog seemed forced to me and I was overwhelmed with descriptions. Not the good kind. There was also this peculiar feeling that Mr. Chaucer was plugging another author’s book within the confines of his own. He refers to the book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed in almost every single chapter, often by its full title. I get that the book must be a good one (I really hope so, because it’s on my TBR) and deserving of an honorable mention, but the constant name dropping was kind of weird.

I’m actually pretty disappointed that I didn’t like this more than I did. I’m always looking for a book to WOW me, bring me to my knees, summon the tears (you guys know how much I like to cry). I realize that it won’t happen all of the time, can’t happen all of the time. But this time I was hopeful. This book felt important, like it could really leave its mark. Unfortunately, it didn’t brand me like I had hoped. That doesn’t make it any less important, though. The message in Streaks of Blue is a meaningful one; its moral, one that we could all afford to stop and listen to. And while I may have been let down by its delivery, that is something I can respect.

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