Violent Ends – Shaun David Hutchinson


3 star

Trigger warning: abuse, suicidal thoughts, suicide, eating disorders

Violent Ends is a novel about a school shooting. Its told from 17 different perspectives written by different authors.

I went into this novel expecting each chapter to focus on a different aspect of the shooting. Different characters’ perspectives and experiences color the way one perceives and reacts to an event, so I expected something much different than what I got in Violent Ends.

As mentioned previously, each chapter has a different writing style (since they’re written by different authors) and format (transition from past to present, linear narrative, etc.). These differences create a unique reading experience as you read about the same event over and over. However, Some of the chapters didn’t even deal with the shooting. It dealt with a character’s interactions with the shooter before the shooting. As interesting as it was to see the shooter from multiple different perspectives, it wasn’t what I was expecting so I didn’t enjoy it was much as I could have.

What I loved most about this book was its ability to communicate the helplessness everyone feels following an event as traumatic as a shooting. People are desperate for answers, emotionally confused, and lost. All of this is heightened as a teenager and this is represented clearly throughout the entire novel.

Overall, Violent Ends was an interesting and engaging read despite my expectations being skewed towards something else. This is the first school shooting novel I’ve ever read and I think they’re a necessity. Reading should broaden your horizons and make you feel something you’re never felt before and Violent Ends accomplished that. My only complaint is that I wish it would have focused more on the actual shooting.

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