I don’t think it would be fair to rate this book any lower; I almost didn’t want to review it since the subject is so heartbreaking. But I also didn’t want to leave it out, since in many ways the work earned its score.
If you’ve never heard of the book, let me explain: Sue Klebold is the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the two teenagers who participated in the Columbine shooting.
But Sue Klebold wrote a story that wasn’t about anything other than her son, who happened to commit a terrible crime. She doesn’t appropriate the tragedy, and she doesn’t try to excuse it. She simply tells her own story, and it feels truthful. At times you pity her, at times you are furious for her, but at no point do you lose sight of the topic she is writing about. Having read Dave Cullen’s Columbine, I think Klebold treats the subject with more reverence but no less respect.
I also appreciate the way Klebold handles her discussions of mental health; again, she makes no excuses for her son, but she does talk about the different ways early intervention can be life changing.
If you can stomach the subject matter, I would recommend this book. (Although, if you’re just looking for the dirty details of what happened in Columbine High School that fateful morning, give it a skip).