Author: Various authors
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 384 pages
Publication date: 1/11/16
It took only twenty-two minutes for Kirby Matheson to exit his car, march into school grounds, Exeter the gymnasium, and open fire, killing six and injuring five others. But this isn't about recounting the one unforgettable day. This is about Kirby and how one boy- who had friends, enjoyed reading, played saxophone in the band, and had never been in trouble before- became a monster capable of entering his school with a loaded gun and firing on his classmates.
Each chapter is told from a different victim's viewpoint, giving insight into who Kirby was and who he'd become. Some are sweet, some are dark; some are seemingly unrelated, about fights or first kisses or late nig parties. This is a book of perspectives- with one character and one event drawing them all together- from the minds of some of YA's most recognisable names.
Thoughts on the book: Violent Ends tells the story of Kirby Matheson, a boy who one day walks into his school and starts shooting, killing six and injuring a further five. We get different perspectives of who Kirby was as a person and how other people perceived him which was fantastic. I loved reading about all the recollections of Kirby but the one thing that I really, really wanted from the book and I didn't get was Kirby's Point of View. We know what he was like when he was little and how a lot of people found him interesting but never told him, or were in love with him or obsessed with him and thought he might love them back. I wanted to know why he walked into the school and whether he deliberately picked those certain people to shoot that he did or whether it was a case of the first people he saw. It just really irked me that I will never know why he did it. If it had had his Point of View Violent Ends would have got a 5 star review because I think then the book would have been complete.
I absolutely adore books written with each chapter by a different author and Violent Ends was no different. With books with multiple authors you get different perspectives of what is happening and if you don't like one person small part that they have written in the book that's ok because there are plenty more to follow that you will enjoy. Each chapter is therefore really unique, as is the whole bookend you know that a lot of hard work has gone into these books because all of the authors have to work together to make sure that the story makes sense and that they are all writing certain characters the exact same way. I really give my hat off to all the authors and the editors of books like Violent Ends who make it work so well together and produce a fantastic collection of basically short stories.