Close Your Eyes by Nicci Cloke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Southfield High School is oh so normal, with its good teachers, its bad, and its cliques. But despite the cliques, there's a particular group of friends who have known each other forever and know that they can rely on each other for anything.
There's the twins: Vis, rebellious, kind, and just a tiny bit worried about what the hell she's going to do once this year is over, and Aisha, smart, quiet and observant. Then there's Remy, the loudmouth, and Gemma, who's more interested in college boys and getting into the crap club in town. And then there's Elise: the pretty one.
But at the start of Year 11, when the group befriend the new boy, Elijah, things start to change. The group find themselves not as close as they used to be.
Until one Tuesday, when the students are trapped inside the school building. And one of them has a gun.
Close Your Eyes is the story of a school shooting which, through interviews, messages and questionable actions, asks: Who is truly responsible?
'Close your eyes' really captured my attention, I have read a novel about a shooting in a school in the US so wanted to see how and if this would be similar. Thankfully in the U.K we don't have an issue with guns and don't have a 'gun culture' so I was interested to see how this would pan out set in the U.K. We have had a couple of shootings I believe in the past but there have been very few.
There are 6 main characters in this novel, which at time could be confusing if you don't read the heading of that chapter. We also jump from the past into the present to learn more about the characters and the situation.
This is a very quick read, although I didn't read it in one sitting, I could have easily of done. It is face paced and engrossing, you have to know what is going to happen. It is a very different book in the style it is written, the story has been told through transcripts, online messages, interviews etc. Initially I found this difficult to follow but I managed to get into it quite quickly.
We learn through journal entries and interviews what is going to unfold and how. Personally I thought the story was a little disjointed in places, the first part of the story felt separate to the second and I enjoyed the second part a lot better as it flowed better.
Overall I am glad I had the opportunity to read this book, it is not the best book I have read and it certainly isn't the worst. It is a quick read and this covers many topics including cyber and normal bullying. If you are interested in any of these topics this would be a book you probably enjoy.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.