I originally started this book on December 13th 2012. It had been on my to be read list forever. I finally ordered it and started reading. I didn't get far that night and as I was about to pick up my Kindle the next morning I received a text from my son's school. They were on lock down. I had no idea why. I received a call about 5 minutes from a friend telling me to turn on the news. The Newtown tragedy was on every station. We live 2500 miles away but my sons school had apparently gone on lock down as a safety precaution. I watched in horror for updates on those poor kids, teachers and families. And when my son came home from school I hugged him fiercely. And I decided that in no way would I read Columbine.
I started another book instead. But Columbine seemed to haunt me. I didn't want to read it but I felt like I had to. Call it crazy, maybe I wanted to try and understand what happened in Newtown, or just a morbid curiosity I don't know... I started to read it again.
I am so glad I did.
I was 14 when Columbine happened. I lived in Florida at the time and to be honest I don't think I watched the news coverage. It was something that I heard from friends, parents and teachers. I remember my school going into lock down about a week later and a teacher telling the class it's because of Columbine. I remember being told the boys only shot people who bullied them, they were in a club called the Trench Coat Mafia, that there were three shooters, that they were armed with a massive amount of guns, a girl was killed ONLY because of her claim to believe in God. As is turns out it was all wrong.
Dave Cullen's book floored me. Not only was it extremely well written it gave the facts. It didn't sugarcoat anything either. I went through a twist of emotions as I continued to read- sadness, angry, horrified, sick to my stomach and upon learning about the survivors and how some of their lives turned out I even felt happy. They survived and overcame a devastation that no one should endure.
Cullen gives us a play by play of the events before, during and after the massacre. It explains in great detail the cover ups that soon followed and it does so with a certain grace given the subject matter.
I had no idea of the faults at play when it came to Jeffco Police and Swat. But I was happy to learn that since Columbine happened efforts have been made for a course of action that get the good guys in the building as quickly as possible.
I would recommend this book to anyone- and I have been.