September 06, 2018

#BookReview: That's Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger

Reviewed By: Jessica P. 
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Recommended Age: Young Adult 
Genre: Realistic Fiction (School Shooting Aftermath) 
About the Book:

It's been three years since the Virgil County High School Massacre. Three years since my best friend, Sarah, was killed in a bathroom stall during the mass shooting. Everyone knows Sarah's story--that she died proclaiming her faith. 

But it's not true. 

I know because I was with her when she died. I didn't say anything then, and people got hurt because of it. Now Sarah's parents are publishing a book about her, so this might be my last chance to set the record straight . . . but I'm not the only survivor with a story to tell about what did--and didn't--happen that day. 

Except Sarah's martyrdom is important to a lot of people, people who don't take kindly to what I'm trying to do. And the more I learn, the less certain I am about what's right. I don't know what will be worse: the guilt of staying silent or the consequences of speaking up . . .

About the Author: 
Kody Keplinger grew up in a small Kentucky town. During her senior year of high school she wrote her debut novel, The DUFF, which is a New York Times bestseller, a USA Today bestseller, a YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, and a Romantic Times Top Pick. It has since been adapted into a major motion picture. Kody is also the author of Lying Out Loud, a companion to The DUFF; Run; Shut Out; and A Midsummer's Nightmare, as well as the middle-grade novel The Swift Boys & Me. Kody currently lives in New York City and writes full-time. You can visit her online at


Noteworthy experiences while reading this book: This was an interesting concept about the aftermath of a school shooting.  Its been 3 years in this story.  But for me it didn't work out. 

Do I Recommend this book? Sorry its a nope for this one. 

Notes and Opinions:  These days with fake news and social media you can never really know who is telling the truth.  Well that was the entire bases of this story. Three years after a school shooting the six survivers are there to tell the story.  But who is telling the truth and who really knows what happened.  

My biggest issue with this one was the story.  Were told what happened many times but it felt like it was disconnected. There wasn't any real emotion with the telling at all.  I think this one might have been better if there would have been a short preface with what actaully happened then have the story start.  That way us as the reader would have known the truth.  

My next issue with this one was the characters everyone is just so freaking unlikeable. I didn't connect with anyone and I really didn't care about their truth.  A lot of them telling the truth felt forced. And that really made me hate Lee becuase just becuase she was ready to lay it all out about what happened with the shooting didn't mean everyone was.  Every greeves and heals in their own time.  And forcing someone to do tell this story did more harm that good. 

In the end this story lacked a clear focus as well as depth and emotion. And the characters were just blah. 

Go Into This One Knowing: No Depth, No Emotion, Meh Characters 

 Disclaimer: "All opinions are 100% honest and my own."  Thanks to Goodreads and Amazon for the book cover, about the book, and author information. Buying via these links allows my site to get a % of the sale at no cost to you. 

FTC Guidelines: In accordance with FTC guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials for bloggers, I would like my readers to know that many of the books I review are provided to me for free by the publisher or author of the book in exchange for an honest review. If am compensated for any reviews on this site I will state that post has been sponsored. 

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