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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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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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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 |
See my forthcoming review in Kirkus. ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
It's 9 am. High school seniors Emory and Jake are sitting in a first-grade classroom, teaching French to kids for class credit. It's a normal, peaceful day. And then the door bursts open. The man who enters wants to take his son home with him. The man is an Iraq veteran with PTSD and a gun. It's up to Emory and Jake to keep 18 first-graders--and the gunman--calm, and alive.

Quickly paced, with alternating viewpoints (Emory/Jake) that wasn't really necessary. There was a side plot about Why They Broke Up and how this event could bring them back together, and that was boring, but the book still manages to feel very action-heavy in spite of it taking place in one tiny classroom over 4 hours. ( )
  librarybrandy | Mar 31, 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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:00 -0400)

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

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