Title: Close Your Eyes
Author: Nicci Cloke
Pages: 304 Pages
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre/Hot Key Books
Southfield High School is oh so normal, with its good teachers, its bad, and its cliques. But despite the cliques, there’s a particular group of friends who have known each other forever and know that they can rely on each other for anything.
There’s the twins: Aisha, rebellious, kind, and just a tiny bit worried about what the hell she’s going to do once this year is over, and Vis, smart, quiet and observant. Then there’s Remy, the loudmouth, and Gemma, who’s more interested in college boys and getting into the crap club in town. And then there’s Elise: the pretty one.
But at the start of Year 11, when the group befriend the new boy, Elijah, things start to change. The group find themselves not as close as they used to be. Until one Tuesday, when the students are trapped inside the school building. And one of the them has a gun.
Close Your Eyes is the story of a school shooting which, through interviews, messages and questionable actions, asks: Who is truly responsible?
I have read a few books that have tackled the topic of a school shooting, notably Jodi Picoult’s 19 Minutes. However, these books never seem to be aimed at a younger audience who arguably should be exposed to books about this topic to make them aware of what to do and more importantly the consequences of actions.
Close Your Eyes focuses on the dynamics of friendship and how we may think we know people but can we ever truly know someone? Told in a quirky way (blog posts, police interviews, group messages and narrative) it is a really easy book to read which considering its main topic is pretty impressive. My one bug bear about Close Your Eyes is during the beginning section when Of Mice and Men is said to have 20+ chapters. As a high school teaching assistant who has worked with students studying this book I know it doesn’t have that many chapters. It is a forgivable error…but only just.
Close Your Eyes is a really good story that deals with a complicated topic but it is essential reading for young adults.
Close Your Eyes by Nicci Cloke is available now.
For more information regarding Nicci Cloke (@niccicloke) please visit www.niccicloke.com.
For more information regarding Bonnier Zaffre Books (@BonnierZaffre) please visit their Twitter page.
For more information regarding Hot Key Books (@HotKeyBooks) please visit www.hotkeybooks.com.