Friday, July 27, 2012

One Breath Away Giveaway!

One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf is a novel about a hostage situation at a school in the fictional town of Broken Branch, Iowa.  What I like so much about this novel are the revolving points of view and the short chapters. The short chapters keep you feverishly turning the pages, eager to see what happens next. We hear from Augie, a young girl trapped in the school and trying to find her younger brother PJ; her grandfather, Will--a farmer who's struggling to take care of Augie and PJ while their mother recovers from a fire in Arizona; Meg--a police officer who is working the crisis; Mrs. Oliver--the third grade teacher who must keep her students safe and alive while the gunman decides what course of action to take. And Holly--Augie and PJ's mother.  Holly is drugged up and being treated for burns in Arizona and is looking forward to having her kids come back for Spring Break in a few days.  She doesn't know they are locked down in school with a gunman in one of the classrooms.

The multiple points of view give this story an emotional punch.  You know what's going on inside the classroom, and outside the classroom, as well.  But neither side knows what the other side is experiencing.  There's a major snow storm hitting, and the special help that's required to deal with a hostage situation isn't coming--the roads are closed.  It's up to Meg and the rest of Broken Branch's small police force to handle the situation and get all of the students out safely.  And who is the gunman?  There are many likely candidates; this is part of the drama.  Do we really know our husbands, neighbors, and friends?  

I enjoyed Heather's latest novel. It moves along quickly, has well developed characters, and comes to a satisfying conclusion.  She's an Iowa author, and is coming to our Barnes and Noble on Tuesday, July 31st for a book discussion and signing.  And with that, I am having a giveaway!  I will have a signed copy of One Breath Away to give to one lucky winner.  The contest ends on Wednesday, August 1st--winner will be announced that day.  Here's how you can win:

1.  Leave a comment on this post
2.  Follow me on twitter:  @love2read66
3.  Listen to one or more of my podcasts:  on iTunes.  Or, listen via pod bean on this blog.  Leave a comment about which podcast you listened to.
4.  Follow this blog!
Every entry is another chance for you to win a signed copy of One Breath Away.  

My rating:  4/5 for atmosphere, likable characters, and the slow but steady rise in tension as the novel progresses.

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