YOUth Review: Shooter by Caroline Pignat

Shooter, written by Caroline Pignat, tells the story of five grade 12 students, stuck together in the boy’s washroom during a school shooting. In under an hour, Alice, Noah, Isabelle, Hogan, and Xander all believe that it is simply another drill until one of them receives a message, warning them about the true severity of their situation. The five of them, despite having been going to the same school for so long, barely know anything about each other as they live in completely different worlds. Noah is Alice’s older brother, who she has been thrown into the role of caregiver for, due to his autism. Isabelle is the girl everyone wants to be, popular, high-achieving, and president of the student council, who hides everything behind the perfect smile. Hogan, due to a troublesome past, has had everyone give up on him and Xander is the awkward loner who no one ever talks to.  During their time in the bathroom, the characters’ interactions allow them to learn more about the others, however, towards the end of the lockdown, it is revealed that one of the students knows far more about the shooter who put them in this situation than they are letting on. With the new information this provides, the five have to work together to beat the clock, in order to stop what could be a major disaster.

Pignat uses a variety of media within her writing, including texts, homework assignments, prose, poetry, and journals, masterfully providing the reader with further insight into the characters, and why they are who they are. The story does, however, have a slow pace towards the beginning and is best suited to readers who are patient, and can wait for the excitement to start.

Written by K. Price