Sunday, March 25, 2018

Review: Time Bomb by Joelle Charbonneau

Time BombTitle: Time Bomb 
Author:  Joelle Charbonneau
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: March 13th, 2018
Pages: 352
Genre: YA Psychological Thriller
Series:  Stand Alone
Source: Audio
A congressman's daughter who has to be perfect. A star quarterback with a secret. A guy who's tired of being ignored. A clarinet player who's done trying to fit in. An orphaned rebel who wants to teach someone a lesson. A guy who wants people to see him, not his religion.

They couldn't be more different, but before the morning's over, they'll all be trapped in a school that's been rocked by a bombing. When they hear that someone inside is the bomber, they'll also be looking to one another for answers.

There have been so many books of recent with school shootings and now one about a bombing. These type of books are to read... especially living int he Austin area right now.... but I think they are worth reading.  We will never quite understand the individuals that deem it necessary or the only way out is to bomb or shoot up a place. These books hurt my heart but I find them interesting and thought-provoking. I found this book to be very interesting. I enjoyed it and enjoyed the characters and the look into their minds and their lives. I liked the suspense and I liked the action. I did have a little bit of issue with the ending and I will get to that. But all in all a good read. I would recommend it to other readers. 
There are seven kids in a school building before school has started for the year, on a Saturday. There are very few people in the school. There is a series of bombs that rock the school, break it into pieces, and tear these kids lives apart. The police and the media are there but they can't go in or more bombs will go off. Some of the teachers are dead, some of the kids hurt, no way out and no way for anyone to get in. The worst thing is that one of these seven is the bomber. Told from 6 points of views from the seven that are trapped. All with different lives and all know each other or know of each other. All have a reason to be mad at the school, their lives, the world. 

I was super excited to read this book. I haven't read much from this author but I have heard great things about many of her books. This one seemed a little different than what I have seen around. I was excited and concerned. A book that focuses on something so tragic and real-life happenings need to be done well. There is a lot of sensitive matter that goes into a story such as this. I live in the Austin Area and if you don't watch the news you may not know but there have been a series of bombings happening recently. It seems to be over now but it was pretty scary. This happened right after I read this book. I could get into an entire conversation about it but this is a book review, not a news report or documentary. I will say it was pretty scary though. 

I think that it is important to try and understand why one would do these crazy things to try and prevent it from the happening again. Especially in schools. So what I really liked about this book were the different points of views from completely different characters with different lives and different problems. I never really connected to any of the characters but that didn't bother me so much. I didn't feel I needed to connect to them as much as just understand their reasoning for being psychologically messed up. 

I liked getting into their heads to see how their lives were affecting them in such a negative way that they may be the bomber. Each one was at the school for an unknown reason and a reason they want no others to know about. Reasons the reader is aware of. This makes the story very suspenseful and exciting. I really had no idea who the bomber was the entire time. I kept changing my mind. I just didn't know who it was. This also was a positive to the story. 

There was also a ton of suspense and action between the kids, the parts of the school they were in, the damage the bomb had, and the when the next bomb will go off. Lots of suspense. So suspense, thrilling, mystery... check. 

What I didn't like so much was the ending. It just didn't make sense to me. I mean it did make sense to who did it and I guess the reasons why. I just didn't feel they were reasons a teenager would do this. I didn't feel it matched the bombings. Not emotional enough for the crime. Not emotional enough for a teenagers work. I can't go into anymore as I don't want to give it away but I just didn't feel the ending as far as the who and why. 

Really though that is the only reason my stars came down. Other than the ending it was all pretty grand and intense. I felt it was going to be more of realistic kind of read and it was more of a suspense thriller kind of read and I did like that. It wasn't what I expected but I am glad for this as I liked it for what it was. 

Really good read. Really good suspense thriller. Really liked it. 

Joelle Charbonneau
I am a storyteller at heart. I have performed in a variety of operas, musical theatre and children's theatre productions across the Chicagoland area.

While I'm happy to perform for an audience, I am equally delighted to teach private voice lessons and use my experience from the stage to create compelling characters on the page. I am the author of the Rebecca Robbins mystery series (Minotaur Books), The Paige Marshall Glee Club mysteries (Berkley) and The Testing YA triology (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).


  1. I've been curious about this one. Sounds like a great read, at least up until the end.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  2. I've read The Testing by this author and loved it. I like the idea of the book but I don't read much YA these days so I'm unsure if I'll read it.


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