by Jennifer Banash
Penguin Group, 2015, 293 pp., $17.99
Realistic Fiction, Problem Novel
Alys Aronson is a normal freshman; she has loyal friends, a boyfriend, and a seemingly stable family. However, Alys’ life changes in an instant when her brother is the perpetrator of a school shooting. Silent Alarm is the emotional tale of a young girl confronting her anger and reservations after her brother viciously murdered 15 people and then committed suicide. Alys must now piece together her life and find a beacon of hope despite a grave tragedy.
This novel is not meant for the fast-paced and thrill-seeking reader. Rather, Silent Alarm will have readers questioning what it means to love and how to cope in the face of disaster. The story is told from a first-person point of view, as Alys describes her personal conflict and the blame she receives from others. Little dialogue is provided throughout the story and, instead, readers are called to place themselves in Alys’ difficult shoes.
Student of Gretchen Schwarz