Bomb by Sarah Mussi is a hard YA book to read for many reasons

Bomb by Sarah Mussi is a hard YA book to read for many reasons

I’m not sure how I really felt about this book.  I’m not sure why I picked it up.  I am sure it haunted me for a few days afterwards, and writing this blog post will probably bring those thoughts back to the forefront.  This is about an extremist group and suicide bombings, but it isn’t one you’ve ever heard of and it takes place in contemporary London.  I found it disturbing, but I didn’t put it down.  If the title and cover don’t scare you off, it is thought provoking, but I ultimately gave it three stars.


 Genesis wakes up from a blind date to find she has been strapped to a bomb, a victim of an extremist group who want to use her to bring chaos and fear to the people of London.  This was an action packed read that took a little while to get off the ground.  I found it very compelling once the pace picked up, and I finished it in a few hours.  I did struggle with the prose, which was a stream of consciousness monologue for the majority of the book.  There were proverbs that began with “Life is . . .” throughout the narrative, and I found them annoying, so I just started ignoring them.  I understood their purpose, but I was over them pretty quickly.  I wasn’t sure how this one would end, even with just a few pages left, and when I got to the final page, I was pretty surprised.  Ultimately, I was left wondering what the author’s purpose was because this was heavy reading material for a book that I mostly enjoyed for the action, which I kind of felt guilty about because of the heavy topic.  I think the contemporary setting and the topic will make a lot of readers uncomfortable, and when you pair that with the unconventional style, I don’t know how many of my high school students would be willing to stick this one out until it becomes so engaging they can’t put it down.  The language is appropriate but the situation makes this a better choice for mature high school readers.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

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