Title: This Is Not a Drill
Author: Beck McDowell
Summary: When high school seniors—and former couple—Emery and Jake find themselves held hostage in a first grade classroom, they must do all they can to protect the kids. Brian Stutts, a U.S. soldier suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after serving in Iraq, pulls out his gun to convince the teacher to hand over the son he’s not allowed to check out because of a custody battle. The situation turns deadly when a security guard appears at the door and Stutts impulsively opens fire. When the teacher is carried from the room, the children’s fate is in the hands of Emery and Jake. While Jake searches for a way to communicate with the policemen surrounding the building, Emery, fighting her shyness, fear, and POTS symptoms, tries to reach out to the soldier. She gains a new understanding of what he faced in Iraq, and discovers remarkable strength in his small son.
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed This Is Not a Drill by Beck McDowell. The story is with Emery and Jake taking turns narrating. It was done really well, with occasional overlap to get the other’s perspective on something that just happened. I really liked that, because I felt it enabled me to get to know each of them better. When the question of their former relationship comes up, it does not detract from the main story – a gunman inside a room full of first-graders.
While reading, I was occasionally reminded of One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf. It’s not exactly the same; the books are actually quite different. I think it’s just the subject – children held hostage by a gunman. The children in this story are much younger than the ones in Gudenkauf’s book, and that ups the ante a bit.
I found the book sucked me in from the very beginning. It was gripping, exciting, suspenseful, and fast-paced. I was impressed by how quickly I was able to get through it. Despite the heavy subject, I was able to close the book with a smile on my face. The way things worked out – perfect. I was very satisfied.
Source: Received through Around the World Tours for review.
Read It: This Is Not a Drill is scheduled for release on October 25, 2012. You can pre-order your own copy HERE. (This is a Book Depository link, and purchase through this link will result in my receiving a small commission at no cost to you. Your support is appreciated!)
FTC Disclosure: All items reviewed were either obtained by me for my own enjoyment or sent (from the author, publisher, publicist, via tour sites, etc.) in exchange for an honest review. I receive no monetary compensation for my posts. All opinions expressed are my own. Any exceptions to this are clearly noted in the appropriate posts.
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