Title – Dear Charlie
Author – N.D. Gomes
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 222 pages
Publication Date – October 20th 2016 by Harlequin Mira Ink HarperCollins
ISBN – 9780008181161
My Rating – ★★★★/5
“Death should never meet the young. But it did. Thanks to my brother, death made fourteen new friends that day. Maybe even fifteen, if you count Charlie”
Sixteen year old Sam Macmillan should be thinking about school, girls and applying to college. Not picking up the pieces in the aftermath of a school shooting. One his brother is responsible for. As Sam tries to hold onto the Charlie he knew, the media frenzy surrounding his family is threatening to destroy everything. And Sam finds himself questioning the things he thought he knew about life, death, right and wrong.
I received a copy of Dear Charlie from HarperCollins New Zealand to review. This is N.D. Gomes’ debut novel and is endorsed by Amnesty International UK.
Dear Charlie picks up after Sam’s brother, Charlie, took a gun to school one day and killed fourteen people and then himself. This follows Charlie and his family as they deal with the fallout of what he did while also grieving their brother and son.
I am embarrassed to admit that I’ve never even considered what the family of a shooter goes through. And that makes me feel horrible. I mean, I’ve never blamed them or anything but still. Now I’ve read what a family of someone that’s gone and killed so many innocent people, like a school shooting or shooting up a cinema, might go through. I think the story Gomes told in Dear Charlie is more than likely to happen.
Sam and his parents are trying to understand why Charlie would do the things he did while also grieving someone they love. Not to mention all the judgement and blame and hearing all the things the media will be saying about Charlie like they know him. It must be so confusing and painful. Which is why I can’t believe I’d never even considered what they might be going through. I’ve only ever thought of the victim’s families and what they might be going through. But, Dear Charlie has mae me see things very differently.
I really felt for Sam and his parents. I’m sure a lot of the things they went through in Dear Charlie is what the shooter’s family will go through in real life. One of the biggest things Sam had to deal with was what the media was saying about his brother and realising he may not have known his brother at all. It must be a horrible thing to go through.
I don’t want to give too much away but I will say that I am really glad I read Dear Charlie. I actually passed this onto my mother to read as soon as I’d finished it. I cannot recommend finding a copy of this book enough. It’s definitely a must read.
And if you do read it then you should also read why Amnesty International UK endorsed this book. It’s a really good addition to the book.
*Thank you HarperCollins New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*