Friday 5 May 2017

Bang - Barry Lyga

Barry Lyga
Hachette Book Group Canada
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN 9780316315500
eISBN 9780316315531

I read this book a few weeks ago. I picked up the eBook on the day of release and had finished it in a few days. But to be honest the book was such a shock, and had me thinking so much I waited to write my review after reflecting on the book a bit. I have read many of Lyga's books more than once, especially the Brookdale High books. There was just a brief reference in this book that made me go back and double check the name of the teacher from Boy Toy, not being sure if this book took place before or after that one. But other than the town and school there does not appear to be any characters cross over.

This is a book I am very glad I have read for a number of reasons. First it is a book that really got me thinking. And thinking about a number of issues; gun control, being Muslim today, mixed marriages, and how we deal with tragedy. This book takes place over a summer break, but it often harkens back to events many years before. Sebastian Cody is heading into his senior year in high school. But he has plans that will make that fact not matter. At the age of four he killed his baby sister with his father's hand gun. And he cannot live with the fallout of that event. And even though most people do not talk about it, it is always in the back of his mind. But as summer begins Sebastian's best and really only friend Evan Danforth is heading off to a camp. And the outlook for the summer is getting even darker for Sebastian. But then he meets Aneesa Fahim, and everything changes. Soon he is showing her around town. She convinces his to start sharing his pizza recipes on YouTube, and things seem to be getting better. But Sebastian knows a dark cloud is coming, and the storm is about to break.  Part of the description for this book is: 
"It took a gun to get him into this.Now he needs a gun to get out."
Throughout the reading of this book readers know something is coming and that Sebastian has a plan. A plan that he has had for a long time and is just waiting to execute it. Thinking to himself he states:
"This is where. This is where it will happen. This is where I will do it. When the time comes. I've fired a gun once in my life. I'll do it again. When the time comes."
But the ending of the book took me completely by surprise. Lyga has written an incredible book that deals with so many important issues. And though each of the books set in Brookdale deal with very serious issues this one tackles more hard hitting issues and does an incredible job of bringing the reader into the story and what the characters are dealing with. 

This book was very moving. It is penetrating into its insight of the human psyche and ability to capture internal struggles. It has been a few weeks and I keep thinking about this story, and know that I will read it again, likely soon. This is another great read from Barry Lyga.

Books by Barry Lyga:
I Hunt Killers:
I Hunt Killers (2012)
Game - I Hunt Killers #2 (2013)

Blood of My Blood - I Hunt Killers # 3 (2014)

I Hunt Killers Short Stories:
Down Time (2018)
Lucky Day (2014)
Career Day (2012)
Neutral Mask (2013)
Blood Boy (2014)

Brookdale High:
The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl (2006)
Boy Toy (2007)
Hero Type (2008)
Goth Girl Rising (2009)

Bang (2017)

Archvillain #1 (2010)
The Mad Mask - Archvillian #2 (2011)
Yesterday Again - Archvillian #3 (2013)

The Flash Series:
Hocus Pocus (2017)
Johnny Quick (2018)
Tornado Twins (2018)

Other Books By Barry Lyga:
Graphic Novels in Your Media Center: A definitive Guide (with Alison A.W. Lyga - 2004)
Wolverine: Worst Day Ever (2009)
MangaMan (with Colleen Dorren 2011)

Unsoul'd (2013)
After The Red Rain (2015)
The Secret Sea (2016)
Thanos Titan Consumed (2018)
The Hive (2019)


Short Story Project 2017
The Ghosts at 95
Loving The University
The Ideas of March
Four Minutes
Pulse vs. the Killing Fiend
Her Decade
The Life Cycle of Stars (Ignition)
Trading Worlds
When I Die
The Autopsying of Michael Edward Morgan
Meet Me Tonight

Contributed to:

Geektastic (2009)
Who Done It? (2013)

Author Profile and Interview with Barry Lyga

Author Profile and Interview with Randall Banner

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