Initial reaction: “Say Something” is a great follow-up narrative to Brown’s “Hate List”. Brief read, but very emotional subject matter.

Full review:

Though this was a very brief read, I still wanted to pick my heart up off the floor after reading “Say Something.” David is the main character for this narrative – former friend to Valerie, also suffering from survivor’s guilt in the aftermath of the school shooting of their junior year. The narrative flips back and forth between junior and senior year, narrating David’s experiences with physical and verbal bullying, being helped in an unexpected place by the absolute last person he thought possible, and struggling between his guilt in silence and being able to “say something.” (Interestingly enough, I had A Great Big World’s “Say Something” running through my head as I read this novella.)

I thought this was written with the same maturity and heart as “Hate List”, with decent pacing between the past and present. David’s range of emotions in the before, during and aftermath of the shooting are palpable. I appreciated the narrative for what it offered, though I’ll admit it was over about as soon as it began. It’s definitely a narrative I’d recommend reading after “Hate List” to get the full impact and weight of the story.

Overall score: 4/5 stars.

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