Silent Alarm by Jennifer Banash | Book Review #77


‘Alys’s whole world was comprised of the history project that was due, her upcoming violin audition, being held tightly in the arms of her boyfriend, Ben, and laughing with her bestriend, Delilah. At least it was–until she found herself on the wrong end of a shotgun in the school library. Her suburban high school had become one of those places you hear about on the news–a place where some disaffected youth decided to end it all and take as many of his teachers and classmates with him as he could. Except in this story, that youth was Alys’s own brother, Luke. He killed fifteen others and himself, but spared her–though she’ll never know why.

Alys’s downward spiral begins instantly, and there seems to be no bottom. A heartbreaking and beautifully told story.’

So right off the bat, we know what this book is about. But we don’t know the why of this story. Already this is a tough subject to have in a book, let alone write about it..

This story unexpectedly made me cry. Silent Alarm has so much sadness, anger and grief. I didn’t know what to expect when I first opened to the first page in the story. The main character, Alys, seems so wise for her age. Something that she shouldn’t have known or felt, ever.

So as one would expect, I was skeptical while reading Silent Alarm. This book was the first in that the book was focused around a school shooting. Very quickly into reading the book, it’s quite evident that emotions are seriously high. As much as this story is focused on one topic though, the focus of the story moves a lot. It’ll be about the shooting at one moment, and it’ll be about the aftermath in the next second. The writing though, is so smooth. Everything flows so freely.

Aside from what happens in the story, the story also focuses a great deal on depression. It’s quite clear to me that Luke had depression.

Ultimately, Silent Alarm gave me hope and realization that its okay to live. To move on. And that it’s important to remember that any and every human being has a right to live. 

There are triggering things to look out for in this novel. There is: School Shooting, Mass Murder, Guns, Sucicide, and Depression.

Thanks for reading! Until next time,


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