Book Review: How to Be Safe by Tom McAllister

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge Prompt: A book about a problem facing society today Brief synopsis : Anna Crawford, a high schoo...

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge Prompt: A book about a problem facing society today

Brief synopsis: Anna Crawford, a high school English teacher, was recently suspended for an outburst in her classroom. So when a school shooter terrorizes the school, killing and wounding several students and teachers, Anna was the first to take blame because she had motive. Her live falls to shreds and the sun falls from the sky. This novel accounts for the year following the shooting and Anna's month-to-month life.

TW: school shooting, but doesn't fully go into the scenes - it's not graphic.

Full disclosure - I'm not sure where this book came from, but I'm fairly certain I received it through the mail unsolicitedly several months ago from a publisher (which I don't mind, but also don't feel compelled to supply timely feedback if it was not sent at my request). All opinions are my own.

I really thought I would like How to Be Safe more, but I did not enjoy it. Before reading it, I thought it was a factual text, but then realized it was classified as a novel. Oddly enough, it read like a memoir, but the writing was choppy and nothing flowed throughout the book. I just couldn't catch a grip on the purpose of the storyline and there was no big climactic scene. Mostly I was bored.

The prologue began to make me sick to my stomach because it talks about the shooter before the event, however, it didn't flow into the actual event (thank god).

The rest of the story follows Anna and the after-effects on her life, which is full of depression and guilt, understandably. The story is told from her POV, but I'm never really a fan of male authors writing as women characters.

As can be assumed, the novel is extremely political in more ways than one. It is a very quick read and reads like YA, which is never a problem. But I was able to get through it really quickly, even though I wasn't enjoying it.

I wouldn't recommend this book, but it may be of more interest to you.

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