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Violent Ends

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  4,625 ratings  ·  816 reviews
In a one-of-a-kind collaboration, seventeen of the most recognizable YA writers—including Shaun David Hutchinson, Neal and Brendan Shusterman, and Beth Revis—come together to share the viewpoints of a group of students affected by a school shooting.

It took only twenty-two minutes for Kirby Matheson to exit his car, march onto the school grounds, enter the gymnasium, and o
Hardcover, 338 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by Simon Pulse
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Amphitrite Violent Ends doesn't really take place during the shooting. We get some snippets of the event through flashbacks and characters viewing it from the TV…moreViolent Ends doesn't really take place during the shooting. We get some snippets of the event through flashbacks and characters viewing it from the TV or online. It does have multiple point of views like This is How it Ends but each is its own unique short story from different times either before or after the shooting occured(less)
Angela Auten
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  4,625 ratings  ·  816 reviews

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Aug 26, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, includes-my-words
My story, "Violent Beginnings" is featured in this unique book that's part collective story telling, part anthology. Each author picked a different perspective of someone involved in some way in a tragic school shooting. I'm so honored to be a part of this book!
Sab H.  (YA Bliss)
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
WHAAA-- This was SO FUCKING GOOD. I want more!

Dear Courtney Summers, you ROCK male POV! I felt like everything was incomplete because every story was SO GOOD I wanted more, specially Tom Leveen's and Courtney's. I don't know who Elisa Nader is but her story knocked all the air out of me.


Sometimes we forget that every human being in multi-dimensional and complex. That good people do good things and terrible people still have good sides. In every tragedy, the overall question is why?
 photo cda3ae44bc0384a8824f2c4965869b5f_zps9wf9vbiy.gif
3.17 out of 5 stars
The world is so different than it once was back then, and I’m not so sure that’s a good thing. Fifty some odd years ago, school shootings were basically non-existent. Nobody had to worry about sending their children off to school and teachers never had to worry about going to their jobs either. Schools were the untouchable places where evil ceased to exist.

Nowadays, it seems there’s a school shooting every week.

All the stories in this book are interconnected to the same e
Elle (ellexamines)
4.5 stars, despite a lower average rating. This book messed me up so much. It's a great look at how a genuinely good person became a killer.

Violent Ends doesn't excuse Kirby's actions, or even necessarily try to explain them. It just gives background, which makes the ending seem even more horrible. The fact that this is a collaboration makes this book better; the prose varies, and the stories come from people who differ in both their situations, and in their relationships to the killer. All the
Trish Doller
Nov 12, 2014 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-wrote
I am seriously excited to be a part of this collection of stories.
Joce (squibblesreads)
There were way too many POVs in this book. On top of that, the writing styles varied too much from author to author which made each piece less connected to the rest. I can see why some people found this profound and impactful but for me, the stylistic differences and how it came together lacked a lot and ended in an unsatisfying final product.
Gray Cox
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: good, made-me-think
Three stars off for crudeness and swearing.

"I wish I could go back. Back to sixth grade. Back to last night. I wish I could ask Kirby Matheson what it's like to be a ghost. I wonder if he can fly now, all by himself." (pg. 94)
This was an excellent, engaging, well-paced collection of short stories written by 17 different authors about different characters each impacted by a school shooting. We never get the voice of the shooter; instead, we're forced to see who he was through those who knew him well...and those who didn't.

Many short story collections can be hit or miss, but this one is almost entirely hits. Because the focus is so tight, so are the stories. There were maybe two or three that didn't work for me, so I
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is pretty powerful stuff— a YA novel about a school shooting, told through 17 POV’s, and each by a different author. Not a single one focuses on the shooting itself, which I’m glad of, because that would seem diminishing to the subject matter. Instead, each author takes their respective sections in different directions: some are reflective, some are tragic, others are brutal, heartbreaking, or profoundly moving. Only a few failed to work for me (“Presumed Destroyed by Neal and Brendan Shust ...more
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Huge thank you to Simon Teen Canada for this ARC!

Have you ever read a book that physically affected you? Reading Violent Ends did that to me. It left me shaken and exhausted to the core. What's worse in the novel hit a little too close to home for me at times, when you've been directly or indirectly affected by violence, it's not an easy feeling to simply wish away.

Violent Ends is a unique beast. Written with seventeen different perspectives, it's a book that revolves around one teen, and a hor
Apr 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I discovered this hidden gem at TXLA and I was beyond excited to start it. After finishing it I am left with a strange feeling and honestly it's taken me a few days to sit down and right this review. I've found it's hard to separate myself from the story because of my family and this really shoves the dangers that lurk in schools right in your face and I am terrified. Yes I know these dangers have been there for awhile, but I guess going day to day you just don't think about them. Now though I f ...more
Aug 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"To realize it's not really about Kirby now, it's about what's left. And if you don't deal with it, it will deal with you."

As a reader, I never think about what an author must give, when writing a YA book about real issues, to make it feel real. Whether it's about eating disorders or self harm, rape or abuse, the story has to feel authentic to resonate and pass the meaning of the story on to the readers. The author really has to crawl into their mind and try to live it, breath it, know it.

And t
Sarah Swann
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! This was brilliant. I definitely enjoyed some stories more than others, but as a whole, it was incredible. The story was sad and heartbreaking and each perspective added just a little bit more. My favorites were:

“Survival Instincts” by Tom Leveen
“The Perfect Shot” by Shaun David Hutchinson
“Presumed Destroyed” by Neal and Brendan Shusterman (BRILLIANT)
“Grooming Habits” by Elisa Nader (had me reeling!)

Overall I just loved this one!
3.5 stars

Violent Ends is a bold and fascinating project with a very unique perspective. School shootings are always a tricky and very sensitive subject in fiction, and because of the horrifying circumstances of such a situation, there isn’t always much space within these stories to humanize the shooter – aside from the fact that a lot of people wouldn’t want to sympathize in any way or form with someone like that, either. The only other book I’ve ever read that attempted something similar is Hat
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Grade: A+

Who is Kirby Matheson? The boy who befriended bullied kids? The kid who tried to protect you? Your victim? The oddball? The loner? The boy you who was once your friend? Your secret crush? The unpopular kid with whom you couldn't be seen? The kid with a gun? The monster? The shooter? Your brother?

VIOLENT ENDS tells the story of seventeen people who knew Kirby at different periods in his life and in different capacities. Each chapter is written by a different YA writer, each one of the se
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got from the publisher via Edelweiss.

Diversity Rating: 1 – Tokenism
1 (One Cuban girl, one Asian girl, and one Engrish-speaking Asian woman)
QUILTBAG: 0 (The only QUILTBAG character gets murdered and can’t claim their own identity)
Disability: 1 (character with an eating disorder)
Intersectionality: 1

Though Violent Ends is a novel in seventeen points of view via seventeen chapters written by eighteen authors, it’s easy to
Incredible. I can't even believe how much I loved this book.

We know that Kirby Matheson goes on a shooting spree at a school, but this isn't about that. It's a collection of short stories - each one a different point of view - and each written by a different author. Some of them don't seem to connect to either Kirby or the shooting or the rest of the high school until somewhere else in the book a story connects the dots for you and makes you lose your breath. There is even a chapter from the po
Olivia-Savannah  Roach
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
When it comes to this book I don’t even know where to start. I requested it because it just looked so interesting – everyone always asks why some teens walk into a school and start shooting. And this wasn’t a book that promised the answer. But it was a book that said it would show lives that were connected to the shooters, in either a large or small way and we would get to see how it affected them. Some of the people were victims, some of them knew him before the shooting and encountered him the ...more
Beagle Lover (Avid Reader)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 06, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, 2015
The Perfect Shot, Presumed Destroyed and History Lessons were my three favorite stories.
Heather Codename: ♕Duchess♕
Dec 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, read-in-2017
Books being written with multiple authors are not exactly unique. So what is it that makes this book unique? Each chapter has a different character who gives an insight into who Kirby is/was. I'm trying to figure out how to review this book. How do you review a book that's written by 18 different authors with 18 different POVs, over 17 short stories, about a kid that suddenly decides to shoot up his school? Especially when the stories aren't even about the shooting itself.

Chapter by chapter.

Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anytime I read a book that deals with the situation that takes place in the book it is difficult. The way the authors did this with so many different point of views made it such a unique read. They way they showed things from Kirby's past as far back as middle school that could have contributed to his state of mind. To do what he did is inexcusable but I think people need to take a look at what happens to these children early on in there life. He was bullied from the age of 9 and put down and cr ...more
Wow. Violent Ends is profound, eye-opening, and completely captivating from start to finish. Having a story featuring seventeen individual perspectives written by seventeen different authors is an ambitious yet phenomenal idea and is truly pulled off successfully here. The stories were touching and completely realistic. Some were very relatable. All of them made me feel something. This is a thought-provoking book on a very important topic that I cannot recommend enough.

Every story is connected
Caidyn (he/him/his)
Jan 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
Yeah, no.

I like short stories. I do. I really enjoy them, so this one where all the short stories are part of a larger story sounded really awesome to me. But, then I started reading it. And, I had a gut feeling that it wasn't going to work for me. Seventeen unique voices, seventeen unique writing styles, seventeen different -- as the book advertises it -- points of view. I read the first two, then I tried the third one and put the book down.

Now, I'm sure it will appeal to some people. I'm just
Cindy Minnich
Jul 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As a teacher, this book made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck more than once. The thought of something like this happening at my school is the stuff of my nightmares.
But I admit to being curious about books like these - and I'm fascinated by books written by groups of authors. (I can only imagine the collaboration necessary to pull this book off.) Each chapter is written by a different author from a different perspective about the boy responsible for the school shooting. As you would e
Oct 08, 2014 marked it as to-read
Trish Doller AND Courtney Summers?! Um, yes, please! ...more
Gorgeous and terrifying. Such a clever project. My favorite story was GROOMING HABITS by the amazing Elisa Nader.
Janie Johnson
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
This a (purely fictional) look into the life of a school shooter, Kirby Matheson, a seemingly normal kid who had many friends, loved reading and even loved being in the school band. This story is about the accounts, leading up to the attack, from several different people, peers and teachers alike, who were involved with Kirby at some point. It seemed that many of the students and teachers had very different experiences with him.

I discovered that there seemed to be many sides to Kirby, some that
Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books)
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tbr-2015
I don't even know how to tell you my feelings on this book. I've read a few anthology books written by various authors, but THIS by far is the best. It FELT like one story, it wasn't choppy, and a lot of the chapters related back to characters in other chapters.

My question is HOW?? How did these 17 authors pull this off? It had to be a coordination nightmare-- and I give Shaun David Hutchinson so much credit for pulling this together so seamlessly.

What I thought this book did really good (and wh
Becky Boudreau
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Overall Rating: 3.5/5

There were some stand out stories, but most were around a 3 star rating for me.
More reviews like this one can be found on my blog, CoffeeCocktailsandBooks


Because this is an anthology, I'll give you all mini reviews on each story with their individual ratings and then a full review at the end!

Oh and because these are short stories, I may be giving some stuff away so I can actually talk about them. Sorry! 
Miss Susie by Steve Brezenoff --> ⭐️⭐️⭐️
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Shaun is a major geek and all about nerdy shenanigans. He is the author of many queer books for young adults. Find out more information at He currently lives in Seattle and watches way too much Doctor Who.

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