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Review: People Kill People by Ellen Hopkins

Title: People Kill People
Author: Ellen Hopkins
Year Published: 2018

Genre: YA fiction
Pages: 428
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2018 Google Reading map)USA (NY)

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): A gun is sold in the classifieds, bought by a teenager for protection. 

One week will bring six teens in Tucson, Arizona, into close contact in a town wrought with political and personal tensions.

One person will shoot.

Someone will die. 

Guns just make it easier.

Review: It has been a really long time since I read a book by Ellen Hopkins, but this one was getting such good reviews, that I couldn't resist. And the book is written in both verse and prose so that's cool.

I really liked the format of this book: the verse portions are the thoughts and suggestions of violence/death/hatred as a character, always encouraging each of the human characters to commit violence, use a gun, take a life. The prose sections introduce us to the six teens whose lives will eventually intersect in a moment of gun fire.

The actual shooting happens very near the end in a way that I did not see coming. I like that the final pages are dedicated to how the shooting affects each character's future life and relationships. Getting to know each character individually, their foibles, their desires, and their needs really pulls the reader in to each of them, even when we don't like them.

There is an important message within the pages of this novel, but Hopkins deftly shows us that there are many viewpoints, all of which need to be listed to in order to understand fully.

Challenges for which this counts: September's motif is "Don't turn out the light:" horror or mystery. Given the tragic and senseless violence in this one, I'd say it counts.

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