Thursday, April 20, 2017

Book Review: Bang, by Barry Lyga

Bang by Barry Lyga book cover and review
Lyga writes pretty edgy novels but somehow makes them relatable.  Bang is no exception.

Sebastian is fourteen years old but still suffers the trauma of an event that happened ten years ago.  When he was four, he shot and killed his 4-month-old baby sister with his dad's gun.

Needless to say, this has torn the family apart.  His father is gone.  His mother can't talk about that event.  Sebastian has been to therapy for years but isn't doing well.  As a matter of fact, he knows it's only a matter of time before he commits suicide.

Everyone in town and at school knows Sebastian's past, so when a new girl, Aneesa, moves in down the road, Sebastian finds comfort and companionship with someone who doesn't know him.  He realizes that at the end of the summer when she starts school she will inevitably find out, but he's going to enjoy his time with her until then.

Aneesa has her own issues, coming from a mixed racial marriage.  Her father is Muslim, so that causes her to be ridiculed by many.

They build a strong friendship and work together to create a unique business. Sebastian can't help but fall for Aneesa, and those voices telling him to end his life become quieter. The expected blow up occurs, and that's all I'll say about the plot.

I was happy that the book doesn't preach about gun control. The father made a huge mistake, and that's obvious, but really the rest is left for the reader to decide.

Bang is easy to read and relate to the characters. The pace moves and the secondary characters have a lot of depth. It will be easy to recommend this to my contemporary novel fans.

Published by Little Brown BFYR, April 18. 2017
eARC obtained from NetGalley
304 pages

Rating: 4.5/5

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  1. Lyga's last two books didn't work for me so I'm hoping this one will. I usually do like his contemporary books though they deal with hard issues. Glad you enjoyed this one.

  2. This sounds like it has a few good "issues" within it and like it's a book I would enjoy. My daughter comes from a mixed marriage (I am white and my ex is muslim/Arab/east African) so that will be interesting for me as well!

  3. Sounds like a really good one. I have had it on my radar since the book has earned at least three starred reviews from review publications.


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