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This Is Not a Drill by Beck McDowell

This Is Not a Drill (edition 2012)

by Beck McDowell

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608197,694 (3.5)1
Title:This Is Not a Drill
Authors:Beck McDowell
Info:Nancy Paulsen Books (2012), Hardcover, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:YA, Veterans, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Relationships, Fathers, Teachers, School Shootings, Violence

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This Is Not a Drill by Beck McDowell



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This is a quick, easy read dealing with a school shooting which makes it a topical issue at the moment. Narrated by Jake and Emery, in alternating chapters, the reader shares the experience, but the tension is never really there. Also I found myself having to go back to the start of the chapter to find out whose point of view I was reading. It was the young first graders who really made this book - Patrick, Rosie, Natalie, Simon and the others. Their naivety and innocence made this story heart-warming. Although not a bad little thriller, the storyline felt rushed and all the lose ends came together too easily at the end. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Jan 22, 2016 |
This was a super quick read about an intense situation. For what it is, I thought it was very well done, although I didn't agree with the explanation of how Patrick was shot and why he was ok. In a situation like that there would not be rookie cops on the front lines, especially if the SWAT and other forces are already in place. That just didn't work for me. Also, I know they are just teenagers, and everyone does dumb things, but it felt like she just jumped back in his arms as soon as she read his letter. I know she had spent time thinking before, and it had been months since it happened, but let's face it - he was a jerk and will have to be careful not to mess up in the future. However, I'm sure the stress of a situation like that would make anyone feel extra strong emotions, so it still could work like that.

Overall, a decent read. ( )
  Mirandalg14 | Aug 18, 2014 |
I picked this book because it was about guns in school & with all the shootings in schools going on, I wanted to see what an author would write about it. Beck McDowell did an awesome job giving a realistic look at a bad situation. I think she portrayed all the people in the book well & they all responded appropriately (though I haven't ever been in such a situation) as far as I am concerned. ( )
  SpockMonkeys | Mar 3, 2014 |
This Is Not a Drill Too short for such a complicated subject, and while it was a heavy one for YA, sometimes it felt like the reader was being talked down to. Still, couldn't put it down until I finished it, and I really liked Emery, Jake and the kids. ( )
  Isa_Lavinia | Sep 10, 2013 |
So, I read this book at the very end of 2012, which wasn't really the best timing to pick up this book, but I wanted something short I could read so my goodreads count for 2012 would be a nice round number and this was the first book I grabbed. And it was a pretty decent read.

I had some issues with the way the story was told. This is obviously a really serious subject and an awful situation, but it...didn't really feel like it. We'd get random flashbacks to how the two characters were before so we can understand their relationship which, okay, understandable for the story. But it drew away from the danger and the concerns of the story. As this is kind of a major topic - especially when I was reading it - that was disappointing.

I think because that annoyed me, I couldn't connect with the characters. They were acting appropriately in the present day and being good people and the flashbacks definitely added some level of depth to them, but I just never really clicked with them, I guess.

As for the story itself, once I got past the flashbacks throwing me off, it was really interesting. The writing kept me turning pages without a problem as I sped read to get that nice round number for the year. It was intriguing and well written and I was really interested in seeing how this turned out for the kids, Emery, and Jake. It could've used more tension and more serious moments, but I care enough about the end of the book to keep reading.

Basically, this isn't the kind of book I'd shout from the rooftops about. It's the kind of book you read because you need a quick read or just when you want to see how an interesting idea ends. I'd also recommend grabbing it from a library. My disappointment in this book does leave me wondering about how other books in a similar vein to this are in YA and if you have any recommendations, I'd be happy to hear them.
  breakingdownslowly | Aug 10, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399257942, Hardcover)

Two teens try to save a class of first-graders from a gun-wielding soldier suffering from PTSD

When high school seniors Emery and Jake are taken hostage in the classroom where they tutor, they must work together to calm both the terrified children and the gunman threatening them--a task made even more difficult by their recent break-up. Brian Stutts, a soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq, uses deadly force when he's denied access to his son because of a custody battle. The children's fate is in the hands of the two teens, each recovering from great loss, who now must reestablish trust in a relationship damaged by betrayal. Told through Emery and Jake's alternating viewpoints, this gripping novel features characters teens will identify with and explores the often-hidden damages of war.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:07 -0400)

"Two teens must work together to protect a class of first-graders when a soldier with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder takes them hostage."--

(summary from another edition)

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