Title: Streaks of Blue: How the Angels of Newtown Inspired One Girl to Save Her School
Author: Jack Chaucer
Publication Date: September 27, 2013
Genre: Young Adult
Reviewed by: Books4Tomorrow
My rating: 3/5
Adam 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?
Again, this is one of those books that have left me going meh. I seem to be reading quite a lot of them lately. It’s starting to put me in a reading funk. Anyway, I requested this book for review from NetGalley on the premise that it was inspired by the Sandy Hook tragedy, but what I was hoping to be a deeply moving story, just turned out to be a lot of blah with a tear-jerking scene or two.
It’s not all bad though. It focuses a lot on bullying, and delves into the darkest corners of the mind of an outcast. What I liked about the protagonist is that she is a strong character who isn’t validated by what a boy thinks of her. It’s not often in YA novels that you find the female lead to be someone who shows compassion and understanding, and reaches out to one of her peers to not only to save lives, but make a difference in his life as well. Many readers will find this an inspiring read, but the story also promotes the notion that teens won’t be taken seriously when they inform an adult who can deal with their concerns, of their fears. That might just send the wrong message to a younger, impressionable reader.
I do, however, feel that the book would’ve had lots of potential had it been written without the implausible forewarning-by-angels angle. Also, I felt the ending was rushed and everything came together too conveniently, and the amount of profanity was way more than I could handle. The dialogue felt forced and once I got to the final chapter I still didn’t care about any of the characters.
If you want to read a more realistic book about school shootings and what drives a person to perform such an atrocity, give Jodi Picoult’s Nineteen Minutes a try. I read it more than two years ago, and I’m still thinking about it. Streaks of Blue, with its unnecessarily long title, just don’t cut it. Read it if you like (it does have an appealing cover), but I don’t highly recommend it.
This review forms part of my three-month participation in the NetGalley Knockout Challenge for 2013.