In an instant in small town Iowa, a normal spring morning turns to a nightmare when an end of season snow storm crashes down on the area and a gunman goes into the K-12 school.
Officer Meg Barrett holds the responsibility for the town’s children in her hands. Will Thwaite, reluctantly entrusted with the care of his two grandchildren by the daughter who left home years earlier, stands by helplessly and wonders if he has failed his child again. Trapped in her classroom, Evelyn Oliver watches for an opportunity to rescue the children in her care. And thirteen-year-old Augie Baker, already struggling with the aftermath of a terrible accident that has has brought her to Broken Branch, will risk her own safety to protect her little brother. The whole time, Holly is in the hospital, miles away, not able to do anything for her kids when she finds out they are in danger.
Let me start this post with this is the second book by Heather Gudenkauf and she is becoming one of my absolute favorite authors. Her books keep you turning the page from the beginning and have you on twists and turns you never expect.
Heather Gudenkauf hit a home run with One Breath Away. Everyone can relate to the fear of knowing someone being held hostage in a school. It hits home across the country and becomes even more reality when something like the heartbreaking events that just happened in Colorado happen.
This book is told through five different perspectives, from the officer, to the grandpa, to the teacher, to the student and to the mother. All the characters play different roles in the survival game that becomes the theme of the novel. They have no idea who the man with the gun is and he goes after the most vulnerable young children.
There were many times through this book when I tried to guess who the bad guy was. I ended up getting it before it was revealed, but I still had it narrowed down to two people.
One of the things that I was intrigued by in this book was that there were so many people that weren’t sure if their loved one was the one with the gun. It’s sad that there are so many options in one small town and the uncertainty that arises when you hear of something so scary come to life.
When you read books, there are times when the scenery and the weather have so much to do with the story. I’ve don’t think I’ve ever read a book where that was so prevalent. The storm comes like a lion, which is so fitting for the story. Life, like the weather, can change in the blink of an eye. And what a more fitting weather pattern than a snow storm to keep you on your toes during a crisis.
This is such a gripping novel that is very hard to put down. You aren’t at ease until you know if everyone makes it, especially the young kids you fall in love with along with way.
I give One Breath Away 5 of 5 bookmarks and definitely look for it at the end of the year on my favorites of 2012 list.
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Released: June 26, 2012
And check out my review for Heather’s These Things Hidden here.
I am far from being done with this book! I have one copy of the book that I am giving away. And it’s easy to win. All you have to do it post a comment saying you want the book and leave me your email address. The contest closes Sunday, July 29.
And come back tomorrow to check out a Q&A with Heather.