Book Review – Parkland: Birth of a movement by Dave Cullen

Book Review  – Parkland: Birth of a movement by Dave CullenParkland by Dave Cullen
Published by HarperCollins on February 12, 2019
Genres: Social Science, Violence in Society, Biography & Autobiography, Social Activists, History, United States, 21st Century
Pages: 400
Format: eBook
Goodreads
five-stars

Confession time.

I have re- written this review approximately 3 times. Not because I was confused about what I felt about the book, but because this issue – gun violence – is particularly close to my heart. It makes me angry, frustrated, sad and curious. I wanted to be very aware of what I wrote, because it impacts so many and I really want things to change in the US in relation to gun legislation. School shootings, or any shootings for that matter, make my blood boil and my heart ache.

There is a reason Dave Cullen is one of my favourite authors. Obviously, the subject choice interests me (and infuriates me), although, this topic wasn’t a choice but I think, a necessity for Dave to write about, but there is something about the way he writes. It’s honest, fair, with great insight and understanding of his subject. Dave’s choice not to mention the killer’s name is also such a wise and wonderful choice.

I loved his book Columbine. Parkland is different, it feels so personal. The way Dave writes about these amazing young people – he writes about their quirks, sometimes their flaws, worries and talents. I loved learning about the young people I knew very little about. I’m so removed from gun violence in the US, living in Australia. I had no idea the extent of work the survivors from Parkland undertook to advocate for gun legislation change. I’m so thankful for it and for them. We all should be. They did it on their own. I’m absolutely in awe of them.

Why was it different with the parkland movement? Why did it take so long?These young people acted quickly, they had great timing, and a great platform (social media). Most importantly, they were young people who are the future. They were victims. There are more of them than I can name, but David Hogg, Cameron Kasky and Emma Gonzalez are just a few of these activists and names you need to know.

You need to read Columbine. You need to read Parkland: Birth of a movement. It doesn’t really matter the types of genres you usually read. This is important. Thanks to Dave Cullen for writing about it. I really hope that there will be a difference in our future. The March For Our Lives group gives me hope.

Dave is writing his next book about two gay soldiers and of course, I’ll be reading that.

five-stars

About Dave Cullen

Dave Cullen has been covering the blight of mass murders in America for two decades, first with Columbine, now Parkland: Birth of a Movement. Columbine was a New York Times bestseller and the consensus definitive account. Parkland is a story of hope: the genesis of the extraordinary March for Our Lives movement. Dave was with the students from the beginning, with unparalleled access behind the scenes.

Columbine made two dozen Best of 2009 lists including New York Times, and won several major awards, including the Edgar and Goodreads Choice Award for best nonfiction of the year. It now appears on several all-time True Crime Top 10 lists.

Dave has written for New York Times, London Times, Vanity Fair, BuzzFeed, Politico, New Republic, Newsweek, Guardian, Washington Post, Daily Beast, Slate, Salon, The Millions, Lapham’s Quarterly, etc. He has appeared on PBS Newshour, NBC Nightly News, Today, CBS Sunday Morning, Nightline, Morning Edition, CBS This Morning, New Day, Anderson Cooper 360, Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, Lawrence O’Donnell, Talk of the Nation, The Nineties, Hannity, etc.

Dave is a former gay army infantry grunt. Parkland struck while he was in year 18 of a book about two gay soldiers. He will finish that soon. Dave wrote Columbine in Colorado, then moved to NYC. He is uncle to 11 cool humans and 1 adorable corgi, Bobby Sneakers.

To be read or not to be read… that is the question

Phew, well ok It has been a long time since I did a TBR (to be read) list and I used the last one as a bit of motivation/reminder about what I want to read and to commit to it. I mostly passed in relation to my last TBR by the way…there was only one casualty (The Haunting of Hill House) which I didn’t make it through, hence, no review.

There a few books atm that I am especially excited about reading and I wanted to make a priority. As always…any of the books I mention in my blog are food for thought for yourself. TBR lists are great for getting ideas about what to read next and can open you up to reading other genres and titles or authors you may have never considered.

And trust me. I have very unique taste at times. Whilst being a fan primarily of thrillers, I’m open to exploring very different genres from time to time (hello, Nicholas Sparks!…yes…*blushing*, I was in a romance phase).

Life will be the death of me – Chelsea Handler

First cab off the rank…this is a completely different genre so you may be shocked but I just love, love, love Chelsea Handler. American comedian and former late night talk show host- Chelsea CRACKS me up. I have read all of her books and saw her live when she came to Melbourne,Australia. She’s real, brutally honest and I can’t wait to read her newest book. She also loves dogs. What’s not to like?

Parkland: Birth of a Movement – Dave Cullen

Another of my favourite authors. I read Dave Cullen’s Columbine and as heartbreaking as it was, it was also informative and let’s be real here – school shootings are an ongoing issue in the US that people can’t continue to ignore. Dave’s new book has a slightly different focus – it is on the survivors of the Parkland school shooting and their amazing efforts to challenge the NRA. I’m really looking forward to reading this because I think it will install a little more hope and rather than reading about the devastation of the Parkland shooting, I’ll be reading about the amazing resilience of the survivors and possible change for the future.

Foe – Iain Reid

Now, you may or may not have read my review of Iain Reid’s I’m Thinking of Ending Things… but if you did, you would know that that book was one WEIRD AF read. I do have a penchant for the weird and unusual , so I would like to read Foe. As crazy as I’m thinking of Ending Things was…I kept reading, right to the end (which is more than I can say for other books), so it peaked my curiosity and I liked the different idea behind it. Foe is a must read for me because I just want to know…how weird will it be? what happens? no, what actually happens?

Jane Doe – Victoria Helen Stone

Had to finish with a new author to me. I’ve heard great things about this book and as its about a sociopath (I’ve heard) – I already love it. Rumour has it – the author is pitching currently for this book to be a part of a series…so if it’s great, there could be more greatness to come. I first heard about this book through the Goodread’s Readers Choice awards – it was nominated and I believe, shortlisted…which makes me expect big things.