Dear Charlie by N D Gomes

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Dear Charlie by N D Gomes

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Category: Thrillers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Olivia Tierney
Reviewed by Olivia Tierney
Summary: Powerful novel about survival, coming to terms with grief whilst in the public eye, and letting the past go. A haunting story, Dear Charlie is unforgettable, staying with you long after the final page. This exceptional novel is definitely a must-read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 222 Date: October 2016
Publisher: HQ
ISBN: 978-0008181161

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I can't fathom a bigger emotional mess for someone to have left behind. I wonder if you know that this would happen. I wonder if you thought about anything at all before you walked into that assembly hall at 8:22 am on the last day of school.

N.D Gomes has written an exceptional novel on a controversial and relevant subject today with gun laws in question across the world. Dear Charlie is set in England in 1996, the same year in which Scotland was devastated by the Dunblame school massacre, and analyses life after an 18-year-old Charlie, student at Pembrook Academy, shoots and kills 14 people before turning the gun on himself. The novel is narrated by Sam, Charlie's younger brother, who at 16 has to pick up the pieces after the shocking event. The novel depicts how Charlie's family come to terms with his loss, how they're treated by the community, as well as the constant pressure on their lives by the media. Forced to move to a new school, Sam tries to make a new start and leave the past behind, but Charlie is never far from his thoughts.

The main reason I enjoyed this book so much was because of Sam, the narrator. N. D Gomes has created a very strong protagonist who deserves admiration and respect after the many trials and struggles he has to overcome. Sam's situation is tough and tests both strength and character; there were many incidents throughout the novel which I wouldn't have been able to cope with, but Sam deals with each hardship as well as he can and is not one to dwell on feeling sorry for himself. It's incredibly easy to become emotionally invested in his character and the reader is constantly rooting for a happy ending to Sam's story. Credit has to go to N. D Gomes for her great writing style which helps the reader relate to the changing feelings of the narrator. Moreover, the author's story-telling ability is fantastic and very engaging, making this novel a delight to read.

A heart breaking and thought-provoking novel, Dear Charlie made me smile as well as cry. It's a fantastic coming-of-age story which will grip you from the beginning and undoubtedly is one of the best books of 2016. I thoroughly encourage buying the book – you won't regret it!

In terms of further reading, Room by Emma Donoghue is a superb brave story which similarly follows a family's life in the spotlight after a traumatic event. Another great teen book, is The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, a coming-of-age story about forgetting about the past and making a new start.

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Buy Dear Charlie by N D Gomes at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Dear Charlie by N D Gomes at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Dear Charlie by N D Gomes at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Dear Charlie by N D Gomes at


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