I’m re-posting the first review ever for “Streaks of Blue: How the Angels of Newtown Inspired One Girl To Save Her School” … this was written by Christine Cheff, a blogger for the Books Unhinged website, who accessed my book via NetGalley. I’m blown away …
Wow. After reading this book, I am truly at a loss for words right now. I have so many emotions running through me I’m not sure how to organize my thoughts into coherent sentences to get my point across and not sure I will. I am just not sure I can do the author justice. Knowing that there might have been references in this book to the Newtown, CT massacre had me indecisive about reading this book because of all the sadness and heartache which surrounded the event but I am glad I took the plunge.
This book is about two very disturbed boys Adam and Thomas, that are plotting the next big school massacre at their New Hampshire high school. A senior, Nicole, who knew Adam in elementary school, tries to reconnect with the damaged teen at the start of their senior year after having a “dream” or “premonition” of the shooting. She tries so very hard to pull him from the darkness into the light and is becoming successful. Or is she? I’m not sure if it is the constant reference to the shooting massacre in Newtown, CT or the fact that I have a little boy who will be attending kindergarten in 2 years but I was an absolute emotional wreck through this book. I felt like there was a vice squeezing my chest waiting for the horror to come as I read page after page. I was angst ridden during most of it. It was chilling and horrifying to hear the thoughts these two boys had and the lengths they went to, to complete their plan of massacre. Their lack of compassion for human life brought out the most emotion in me. Because these boys were from the “wrong side of the tracks” they had been stereotyped at an early age and had endured endless bullying in school. The effects of bullying know no limits. I’m not even going to get into my thoughts on bullying because they are so strong but after reading this book, it has opened my eyes even more on it. It is admirable for the heroine in this book to try to help Adam in this story but it also is made very clear that one person alone can not fix what is broken in a boy like him. This book casts light on the truth that even adults in higher positions in communities that are supposed to be trained to deal with these issues, can be blind to it. I felt such anger and rage towards these two boys but at the same time felt sad for them. There were many cries for help from these boys some blatant and some subtle, that were just passed right over. It brought back all the sadness and heartache I felt for the Newtown Massacre. As time goes on, you forget. You forget the rage and loss you felt when you watched the news that day. You forget how a community pulled together to grieve and move on. You forget the individual stories of the senseless lives lost. You forget how easily this can happen anywhere. I just can’t put into words how profoundly this book touched me. I am still trying to digest all of what I read. It has however, helped me be a lot more informed of bullying and the effects of it and signs to look for. I almost want to say that teens should read this book but as an adult even I wasn’t prepared for the emotions I felt reading it and the after effects of it. Kudos to the author for writing on such a sad topic, a sad event in history and the topic of bullying. I feel fortunate that I got to read this before it has actually been released. I am wondering how controversial this book will be when it comes out and how many emotions it will bring to the surface. I can only hope that if it only helps one person, it has done its job. I feel that a book like this when read can almost make people be better parents. It’s a reminder that children’s personalities are formed and shaped at such a young age. I’m going to go and try to pull myself together now and smother my little boy with hugs and kisses.