Michele's Reviews > One of the Survivors

One of the Survivors by Susan Shaw
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's review
Dec 26, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: ya

I am frustrated with this book. I really liked certain aspects of it. The voice of the main character, Joey, is extremely real. His reactions and observations of the tragedy he has been a part of touch me deeply. I really wanted to like this book.

However, and this is a big however, it feels as if the entire story is based upon a series of coincidences that rival A Series of Unfortunate Events. There are not one, but two tragic fires in this story which rely on double errors each time. Additionally, there are way too many stupid adults in this story. Parents, teachers, administrators--adults make mistakes of course, but this story depends upon multiple stupid mistakes that go against everything children learn from the time they are five years old.

Lastly, I know that there would be people that would blame Joey for the school fire, but it is unlikely that the school and the officials of the community would continue to allow Joey and his friend to take the blame for something so absurd for so many months, if only to avoid a lawsuit down the road. Schools tend to be very proactive about positive action, even if real negative feelings continue to simmer below the surface. In this story, Joey and his friend are seemingly abandoned by the school and the community.

While I believe in Joey's reaction, I simply don't believe in the story itself.

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