Charbonneau, Joelle. Time Bomb. HMH Books for Young Readers, 2018.
The description makes this book sound like it is very compelling and intense, and I truly wish it were that way. Unfortunately, the characters were all a bit flat, except for Rashid, and their voices weren't distinct enough to differentiate whose character you were reading in each chapter. The reader is thrown right into the action, which would be intense if we had had any idea of what was going on. Each chapter starts with a time stamp, but as the reader isn't informed how many bombs there are, when they are going off, etc., the time stamp only proves how little time has passed throughout the story.
And the plot itself felt super-contrived. This may be colored by recent events (the most recent school shooting of which I am aware was in Florida in February), but the plot didn't seem intense, and the story didn't keep me turning pages like I thought it should.
All that being said, this would be a good book to spark discussions among teens, and I'm sure many teens would not guess the ending as quickly as I did, so they may be wondering throughout the book and changing their guess of who set the bombs, etc. I won't be purchasing this for my library or book talking it, but it could be popular with teens in another location.
Recommended for: teens
Red Flags: language, suicidal ideation, some graphic descriptions of injuries
Overall Rating: 2/5 stars
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley for the purposes of review.