Today I am celebrating the release of my friend, and publisher, Theresa Oliver's book Thou Shalt Not Kill. I am so excited for this day because I was a beta reader for this book and was in on it from the last few months. I have been holding my tongue and waiting to proclaim it's greatness. Yes it is that good. I was shocked, floored, and moved to tears. Just a note, this book is definitely for upper grade YA readers and deals with mature themes. It holds nothing back and some of the violence is very descriptive. But it is not gratuitous and is very essential to the story. I am going to do my best to not have any spoilers in this review.
In Thou Shalt Not Kill, Catholic high school students are faced with a decision: do I kill to save my life and the lives of others or not, even at the cost of my own life? Casey Nichols and her friends are forced to answer this questions after finding themselves in the middle of WWIII when their school, their city, and their country are overrun by terrorists. The decisions they make have consequences, but can they live with the choices they make? Derek saves Casey’s life, but will another steal her heart? In Thou Shalt Not Kill, some will live, some will die ... all choose to fight. When all hell breaks loose, which path will you choose?
When I first started this book I was like, oh no, she didn't go there with a school killing. But the more I read the more it hooked me and drew me in. I couldn't put it down. It's right up there with Hunger Games and I can even compare it to the novel Eve. I couldn't stop reading it, I can't stop thinking about it, and I just think it's fantastic. Casey as a lead is the total package of strong girl turning into a woman, yet vulnerable and moral. The way the kids ban together, are forced to grow up, face loss, perfect. And then there is the thread of Thou Shalt Not kill. The commandment, the morality, the inner struggle Casey feels and faces in practicing her faith and saving her friends and family. That is what sets it apart and makes it different, dystopian novels and kids facing challenges are big right now. But this book stands out.
Oliver wasn't afraid to let her characters face loss and grieve, she didn't shy away from the cold harsh reality of "war". She showed the internal conflict it takes to pull the trigger. It was real and raw, and didn't talk down to her target audience. Timely, yet not patronizing or hate filled. She kept surprising me with little plot twists, the pacing is perfect, the characters are all central to the story, and the plot line is believable. I never once thought otherwise. I was totally immersed in their world.
By taking the very real threat of terrorism and building it into a social experiment on a grand scale, and throwing kids into it as the heros, she has a winner. What sets it apart is the morality she built in. Real and honest and not preaching. Where would you stand if faced with the reality of pulling the trigger? It's not as easy as it sounds. Being a Catholic High graduate myself I really connect with the characters. I really honestly can not say enough about this book. Write More Publications is growing and moving, this book is paving it's path. I am definitely keeping this one and can't wait till my son is old enough to read it.
Thou Shalt Not Kill releases today and is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords. Theresa grew up in southern Indiana, across from Louisville, Kentucky, in Clarksville, Indiana. In her childhood, she fell in love with the power of the written word, a love affair that has continued throughout her life. She moved to Florida, where she has lived much of my adult life. Oliver attended the University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, Tenn., and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communications, News Editorial sequence, and then a Master of Arts in Teaching, Early Childhood Education sequence, from Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah, Ga. She is currently a writer and a full-time teacher in Kissimmee, Fla. However, her biggest adventure is as a mother of three beautiful boys. But most of all, she loves writing and sharing it with you!
You can find out more about Write More Publications and their books at www.writemorepublications.com