Book Review: That’s Not What Happened – Kody Keplinger

It’s been three years since the Virgil County High School shooting. Three years since my best friend, Sarah, was killed in a bathroom stall. Everyone knows Sarah’s story. 

But it’s not true.”

Faced with the 3rd anniversary of the shooting, Lee is starting to feel suffocated by the pressure of truth. With the lies of the circumstances of Sarah’s death getting bigger and bigger Lee knows it’s time to tell the truth, even if it could ruin absolutely everything. As a way of dealing with the tragedy before leaving for college, Lee encourages all of the survivors to write their own letters and the consequences aren’t what she expects…

I’ve never read a novel by Kody Keplinger before but I was intrigued by this one. It has an interesting concept and I really enjoyed that it was a mix of traditional prose and letters. The fact that Kepplinger made each letter really fit with an individual character showed a real talent.

Of course, this isn’t an easy book to read. It does go into quite a lot of detail in regards to a school shooting, dealing with PTSD after the event and the effects that something like this would have on the entire town. I’d definitely keep that in mind before picking up the novel as it’s not going to be a cheerful one.

I was also surprised a few times within the book, while I thought I knew what was going to happen there were revelations. Each of the characters were fleshed out to have their own lives, their own hopes and fears and while we see these through Lee’s eyes it made the novel stand out to me.

There are parallels, I’ve been told, with the story of a young woman who was killed in the Columbine shooting in 1999. Some people have seen this as a reason to slate the novel, however, I don’t think that’s a terrible thing. She has simply taken a similar story and built her own around it. Bare in mind that this is targeted at young adults, I myself was 4 years old when Columbine happened – I knew nothing about it. So it may not be as obvious to younger readers.

I gave this novel 4.5 stars, I was really impressed by the amount of depth that each of the characters had and their own accounts of the story. I definitely want to read more of Keplinger’s books and would recommend this as a thoughtful read.

March 2019 Favourites

It’s time for my favourites agaaaaain! I’ll admit I was unsure about doing one for this month as life has been SUPER quiet. I haven’t been travelling into London much so I’ve mostly been a homebody.

Books

Boooooks, wonderful booooks. I’ll have a full post of what I read in March coming up for you guys but I had an even split of fiction and non-fiction in my favourites this month.

I picked up Internment by Samira Ahmed after loving her debut and this got a 4.5 star rating from me. A story set in a not too distant future where Muslims are sent to Internment camps – something I’m scared could happen in this current climate.

Next up was That’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger another new release. This focuses on the lives of school shooting survivors and what really happened on that day, rather than what was reported. This also got 4.5 stars from me, a really interesting read.

I was sent a copy of Mind On Fire by Arnold Thomas Fanning, a memoir about the author’s life with mental illness, a 4 star read from me. This was a tough but incredibly well written book and I’m so excited that it’s on the Wellcome Prize shortlist for 2019! Full review to come.

And finally I was given an early release copy of Voices of Powerful Women by Zoe Sallis. This is a collection of big questions put to incredible women and although I didn’t know all of them it was a refreshing read.

Movies

Ummm, hello new favourite superhero with a kick ass soundtrack. I love Captain Marvel and really wish that I’d had her growing up. This film has proven that there is a place for female superheroes so umm, Marvel can we get that Black Widow and Scarlet Witch movie going? Thanks.

Gigs

I went to 2 amazing gigs in March with some of my favourite people. First up, George Ezra with my sister and I can honestly say he is brilliant live and was well worth the wait. This was my sister’s Christmas present from me, I always try and get her a gig ticket/something to look forward to.

I also went to see Dream State. Ali’s a fan and got me into them, so he got us tickets to a local show, these guys are also going to be playing Reading & Leeds this year. Definitely one to watch.

Wompa

And three became four. Yep we got our fourth hamster baby this month, I spotted her and thought no, we have enough. Then I called Ali…who told me to go get her, within 5 minutes I was back in the shop. She’s called Wompa, she’s very inquisitive and right now likes to bite things, including me.

General Life

Ok guys, not to brag or anything but I went out TWICE this month. I know, who is this party girl? I kid, I kid. A night of drinking for funsies and a birthday celebration but, you know a girl can’t go too wild.

I also got Ali home from tour and he got me this AWESOME Harry Potter jacket (an engagement ring one month and a jacket the next – definitely picked a winner there). And finally, I just wanted to share with you all this dress that my Mum got me because I felt hella cute.