It is the beginning of a new semester at Opportunity High School in Alabama, and students are already itching for it to end. The school principal is holding an assembly, as he always does, in the auditorium to welcome everyone back from their vacations. At 10:04am students and teachers alike realize they have been locked in the auditorium. At 10:05am, the student who locked them in takes his first victim.
This gripping novel is woven together by a set of 4 diverse and compelling alternating narrators: Claire, the school’s track star and former girlfriend of the shooter, Autumn, the shooter’s sister, Sylv, Autumn’s girlfriend, and Tomas, a notoriously rough and tumble student. While the fast moving plot of this book could easily lock in any reader, it is the characters that make this novel. Nijkamp fills them with life and depth. She gives us characters that are real people. This story also presents itself in the way of blog posts, tweets, and text messages from characters outside of our 4 narrators, giving readers more eyes to see the story through.
Nijkamp writes with such honesty and imagery, it will throw readers directly into the center of the tragedy. This novel deals with themes of abuse and death, among other emotionally charged topics. While the fear of the students in the book is devastating, it is an important story, dealing with a very real, contemporary issue. This book will, no doubt, spark conversation, and will leave readers questioning the world around them.