Hi everyone! Today I am pleased to welcome author Patty Blount . She recently released a book called Send, which tells the tale of how one bad moment of judgement changed so many lives. A thirteen year boy posts a picture of a classmate on the internet, which leads to a suicide and shattered lives. Patty is here to share with us how she managed to bring us the voice of a male bully. Please stick around for my review of her powerful book and a giveaway!
Here is Patty:
Behind the Bully
People often wonder how I got the idea for Send and why I wrote it from the bully’s perspective. The answer to this question is a complicated one – actually, it is an answer with several parts that converged into what would ultimately become Dan Ellison’s story.
Thank you so much Patty for sharing that with us today. You can find Patty on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads. Her book is available now on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please check it out. Let's do our part to take a stand against bullying and make the world a better place. Patty is offering a paperback copy of her book Send for U.S. residents only. Fill out the Rafflecopter to enter. See Contest Policies for details.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here is my review:
Send by Patty Blount
To keep his secrets, all he has to do is listen to the voice in his head and just walk away... On his first day at his new high school, Dan stops a bully from beating up a kid half his size. He didn't want to get involved. All he wants out of his senior year is to fly under the radar. But Dan knows what it's like to be terrorized by a bully-he used to be one. Now the whole school thinks he's some kind of hero, except Julie Murphy, the prettiest girl on campus. She looks at him like she knows he has a secret. Like she knows his name isn't really Daniel.
Paperback, 291 pages
Published August 1st 2012 by Sourcebooks, Inc.
Four Stars: A look at how one thoughtless act can destroy so many lives.
Dan wants a clean start at his new school for his senior year. He is desperately trying to move beyond the horrors that have plagued him for the last five years. When he was thirteen, Dan was a young boy named Kenny who posted a picture of a fellow classmate in cartoon underwear on the internet. That one thoughtless act resulted in the boy's suicide. Kenny was sent to juvenile detention and has paid dearly for his mistake. Now at eighteen his family has moved numerous times, sacrificed tremendously and tried in vain to put their lives back together. Kenny changed his name to Dan and his family has moved to another home in hopes of a new beginning. The only problem, this one juvenile act not only cost the life of the victim, but it has destroyed the lives of countless others. Dan hopes that he can fly below the radar and graduate. All his plans of remaining incognito go out the window when he arrives at his new school and finds a bully picking a fight with another student in the parking lot. When no one intervenes, Dan jumps in and breaks up the fight. Can he somehow help this fellow student? Can he ever make amends for his online mistake?
What I Liked:
- I am a big fan of books that take on the troubling topic of bullying, whether it be physical, verbal, or online abuse. I think that the old school thinking that bullying is part of growing up is wrong. Things are far worse these days when kids can go online and post vicious attacks against a fellow student under the guise of anonymity. Abusing another human is unacceptable and it is time we all realize this and take a stand. I applaud Ms. Blount's efforts to call attention to this hot issue. Her book, Send, brings us the story of a young man who at thirteen made a huge mistake in posting a picture of a fellow student he was bullying. His seemingly stupid act destroyed so many lives. This book discusses the far reaching consequences of his juvenile mistake.
- I appreciated that this book not only discusses the consequences for the victim but it takes a realistic and in depth look at what happens to the perpetrator and their family. Can you imagine ruining the life of not only your victim but their family and your family not to mention the destruction of your future and your dreams? This book will make you sit up and take notice of how one act whether it was meant to be a harmless prank or something worse can be like a pebble tossed into a clear, glassy lake. That one small pebble will create ripples and waves that reach far across the water. Just like one stupid moment can devastate so many lives. I shudder to think of all the stupid things that we all do as we grow up. I hope that this book will help kids to realize that posting harmful things on the internet is something that can haunt their lives forever.
- I was surprised to find that I strongly sympathized with Dan. Yes, he was a bully who made a stupid mistake, but it cost him dearly. Seeing the guilt that he carries is heart breaking. Dan has the support of an amazing family that help pull him through. Without his family, things would have been far worse, and trust me they are bad enough. Watching Dan struggle to put his life back together was an eye opening experience. Of course, we all tend to sympathize with the victim, but this book brings to light the other side of the coin. Bullying is horrible for everyone involved. In the end, I was glad to see that Dan was trying to be a better person by his actions: stopping a bullying incident and helping a victim.
And The Not So Much:
- I have a few small considerations for this book. I wished that the actual event was discussed a bit more. The reader pieces together the story from splices of flashbacks and such but a firm, clear picture of what happened does not materialize until the final chapters. I think a more thorough depiction of the event early on would have elicited a more profound emotional impact.
- The big twist and reveal was not a surprise, it was fairly obvious from the beginning what was going on. I liked Dan's involvement with Julie, but at the end I almost felt that the whole situation was a bit unrealistic. Nevertheless, the development makes an impact in that it shows how bullying devastates so many lives.
- The ending is open ended and I found myself a bit disappointed in that I didn't get so see a little further down the path to see how everything turns out for Dan. I was also a bit frustrated that the situation between Brandon and his bully wasn't completely laid out. It was inferred that everything worked out, but I would love to see how the two diffused the situation and how they made amends.
Send is a book that will stick with me. The story packs a big emotional punch and it opens your eyes to the dangerous, far reaching consequences of bullying online and in person. This a book that everyone should read as it brings up so many important
points. I urge you to pick this one up and share it with the teenage readers in your life. Let's see if we can help put an end to this rise in bullying! Try to make the world a better place!
"For most people, the little voice in their heads was the voice of reason, a conscience or something. But mine was more like a mirror that reflected the things about me I wished nobody could ever see."
"But eventually, everybody looks back on the stuff they used to do and winces."
"The fist that connected with my face clinched it for me. God was bullied as a kid."
"As she led me down the first corridor, she shot me a look so cold I was willing to bet it could freeze a nuclear explosion mid-mushroom cloud and still have enough power left over for the fires or Hell."
"The days piled up, one on top of the other, the way they do when you fall into a routine. September bled into October with warm days, but the air lost that heavy wetness that made you feel like you were trying to breathe underwater."
"So I sat by a rickety picnic table while summer hung on by its thumbs, slurping my cake flavored ice, imagining how I could fix all the crap in my life."
"My God, was there anything women did not carry in their bags?"
"Eighteen year old men did not cry or admit to having cried. Ever."
"When you're sure....when you feel it deep down in your gut...when you'd rather suffer in hell sitting through back-to-back chick flicks or enduring endless hours of shopping, holding her bags just so you wouldn't have to live a day without her, that's how you know it's real."
I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation and all opinions expressed are my own.