Grace's Reviews > 31 Hours

31 Hours by Masha Hamilton
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's review
Feb 21, 2010

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bookshelves: fiction, read-in-2010, suspense-thriller
Read on February 21, 2010

Masha Hamilton's "31 Hours" is a powerful novel that spares nothing to discuss terrorism, American society, growing up, letting go, first love, and standing up for what you believe in, even if no one you love will understand.

The novel chronicles the 31 hours leading up to the main character Jonas' scheduled detonation of the explosive vest he is wearing in the New York City subway system. The events of the 31 hours are divided by chapters that represent Jonas, his best friend/love interest Vic (Victoria), his parents Carol and Jake, Vic's younger sister Mara, and a homeless man who panhandles on the subway named Sonny Hirt.

Even though the novel is barely 230 pages, author Masha Hamilton is able to create deep and three dimensional characters whose pain, passions, and convictions are believable and genuine. Jonas' character gives an inside glimpse into what could possibly be going through the mind of someone who knows that he or she will die in an orchestrated terrorist attack in the name of religion. She even touches upon the racial profiling Muslims face because of the few who believe that the acts of terrorism are the only way to get their point across.

This short, suspenseful, novel packs quite a punch and it is definitely worth the couple of hours it will take to read it. I would have given it more stars, but I was quite unhappy with the ending. I held the book upside down, then put it right side up, hoping that a few more pages would miraculously emerge to finish telling the story. I'm not sure why the author chose to end the story where she did, but I have the opportunity to attend her reading and book signing at a local book store next weekend. I definitely plan on attending so I can ask her!

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