Friday, November 30, 2012

Review: This is Not a Drill

Emery and Jake never expected this to happened when they signed up to teach French to first grade students. The high school seniors are put into a terrible position when a father comes to pick up his son in the middle of the day.

The father, recently returned from Iraq is in the middle of a custody battle with his wife. However, he's not about to take no for an answer. Worse, he has a gun.

Emery and Jake must help the first graders remain calm. They don't want to do anything to agitate the man. The kids are scared.  Their teacher tries to stand up to the man, but soon she's injured. Can Emery and Jake keep all the kids safe and together until help can arrive?

My Thoughts: The story alternates perspectives between Emery and Jake.  In the beginning of the story, it's revealed that Jake and Emery have a past together. Over the story, bits and pieces of that past come into view.  It's a hard story to read.  On one hand, it's a terrible situation. On the other hand, your heart aches for the man who just wants to see his son, but who is going about it the wrong way. McDowell creates realistic tension, where the fast pace of the book makes it hard to put down. I really enjoyed this story which had the perfect blend of action, danger, emotional drama, and a tiny bit of romance.

Cover Thoughts: Perfect
Source: YA Lit Symposium

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