Monday, April 30, 2018

Time Bomb ~ Joelle Charbonneau (earc) review [@jcharbonneau @HMHKids]

Time Bomb
HMH Books for Young Readers
March 13, 2018
352 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

A congressman's daughter who has to be perfect. A star quarterback with a secret. A guy who's tired of being ignored. A clarinet player who's done trying to fit in. An orphaned rebel who wants to teach someone a lesson. A guy who wants people to see him, not his religion.

They couldn't be more different, but before the morning's over, they'll all be trapped in a school that's been rocked by a bombing. When they hear that someone inside is the bomber, they'll also be looking to one another for answers.
The beginning of Time Bomb does a fantastic job setting things up: you know from the start that one of those trapped inside the school is believed to be the bomber.

The story then jumps back several hours, though, and you see how the students started the day and some (but not quite all) of why they were headed to school. Between the way they're vague about their reasoning and knowing what we do from that radio announcement, it is easy to question each of the characters.

Even as you wonder if they could be responsible for the bombing, you get to know them and care about them. They are characters you can relate to - and sympathize with. Each is facing something (or more than one something) that makes them 'different' and/or makes then feel alienated or unable to be themselves. (They are not quite all likable, however, but that makes sense and fits who the characters are.)

Having both readers doubts about the characters and the characters own doubts, suspicions and fears about each other paired with the congressman's proposed bill was smart storytelling.  You notice more that you're suspected people capable of something (and why), only to usually be proven wrong. Time Bomb is a timely and smart story that unfolds quickly and will keep you reading until the last page.

Another Book You May Also Enjoy:  Trapped by Michael Northrop (Goodreads)

digital review copy received from publisher via NetGalley

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