Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Everyone Needs to Read Bang (Review)

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.
Barry Lyga
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA
Amazon | B&N | Kobo

The first impression I had after reading Bang was "Wow". Just wow. Barry Lyga tells the story of an unthinkable tragedy that will quickly, and easily, pull readers in.

Sebastian Cody's childhood trauma haunts him. His family's loss is so great and each are dealing, or not dealing, with it in their own way. Sebastian's father moved out while his mother refuses to talk about Lola. Sebastian doesn't talk about accidentally killing his baby sister either, but his awareness of the event follows him everyday. Hanging with his one friend, Evan,  keeps him feeling semi-normal, until the summer Evan goes away to camp. This is also the summer Sebastian plans to use a gun to right the wrong of his past. Instead it spins into a productive summer of growth and acceptance as the new girl in town, Aneesa, helps Sebastian stand on his own and move toward peace.

I really thought Bang was going to be a mildly depressing story, but amazingly Barry Lyga keeps it light when not focusing on Sebastian's pain and healing. The story is still heart wrenching to read, but there's balance as readers get to know the young man who feels like he's shouldering the weight of personal tragedy alone. Interacting with his new friend, Aneesa, keeps the darkness at bay and delights readers with humor.

There's cold, hard, honest truth in this novel. Bang is a universal story that captured me through Barry Lyga's unique style of writing. Everyone needs to read Bang!



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