Natalie (Natflix&Books)'s Reviews > One Breath Away

One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf
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Jun 27, 2012

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Read on June 26, 2012


One of the biggest fears of educators and parents is school violence. There is nothing more frightening than somebody with a gun invading a school. One Breath Away follows a day when a unknown gunman comes into a the only school (K-12) in a small Iowa town. Who is he? What does he want? Why is he doing this? The novel spans the course of the day and uses several voices to answer these questions.

There are several characters in this novel. There is Holly, a woman who grew up in this small Iowa town called Broken Branch and who escaped it and her family farm when she was still a teenager. Now holed up in an Arizona hospital due to severe burns on her arms and face, she was forced to let her two children go to stay with her father on the farm while she recovers. Her father is one of the voices we hear, and so is one of her children, her daughter Augie. Meg, a police officer who's daughter is thankfully out of school for the day, and Mrs. Oliver, the teacher whose classroom the gunman has focused on, rounds out the cast of characters whose stories we hear directly.

One Breath Away is an exciting, quick read. I enjoyed the writing and thought the book was done well-even following so many characters it is never confusing or hard to follow. Due to the nature of the book, I don't want to say any more, but if you like mysteries, this is interesting read.
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