Reviews of Numb to This by Kindra Neely

Numb to This

Memoir of a Mass Shooting

by Kindra Neely

Numb to This by Kindra Neely X
Numb to This by Kindra Neely
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  • Published:
    Oct 2022, 304 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Callum McLaughlin
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Book Summary

This searing graphic memoir portrays the impact of gun violence through a fresh lens with urgency, humanity, and a very personal hope.

Kindra Neely never expected it to happen to her. No one does. Sure, she'd sometimes been close to gun violence, like when the house down the street from her childhood home in Texas was targeted in a drive-by shooting. But now she lived in Oregon, where she spent her time swimming in rivers with friends or attending classes at the bucolic Umpqua Community College.

And then, one day, it happened: a mass shooting shattered her college campus. Over the span of a few minutes, on October 1, 2015, eight students and a professor lost their lives. And suddenly, Kindra became a survivor. This empathetic and ultimately hopeful graphic memoir recounts Kindra's journey forward from those few minutes that changed everything.

It wasn't easy. Every time Kindra took a step toward peace and wholeness, a new mass shooting devastated her again. Las Vegas. Parkland. She was hopeless at times, feeling as if no one was listening. Not even at the worldwide demonstration March for Our Lives. But finally, Kindra learned that—for her—the path toward hope wound through art, helping others, and sharing her story.

Excerpt
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BookBrowse Review

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The writing strikes a conversational tone, comparable to a heart-to-heart between friends. This enhances the book's approachability, while serving as a powerful reminder that extreme events can and do touch the lives of ordinary people on a daily basis. Avoiding sensationalism of any kind, Numb to This is a raw, no-frills portrayal of one young woman's very personal journey towards healing. Regular references to events from the recent history of a fraught nation — such as Trump taking power and the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub — place her story firmly within modern America...continued

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(Reviewed by Callum McLaughlin).

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Via realistic dialogue, tense relationship dynamics, and turbulent emotional highs and lows, Neely astutely asserts the importance of hopeful defiance in the face of the numbness and resignation that often accompanies feelings of powerlessness.

Kirkus Reviews
This exploration of a gun-violence survivor's raw pain amid ever repeating disasters will resonate with far too many.

Author Blurb April Henry, New York Times bestselling author of Girl, Stolen
Kindra Neely's graphic memoir reminds us that mass shootings leave far more victims than just the people who end up in caskets. This searing, raw, and honest account offers a window to those who want to empathize, and a mirror for those of us who may find ourselves in her shoes.

Reader Reviews

pintu

bookbrowse
The writing strikes a conversational tone, comparable to a heart-to-heart between friends. This enhances the book's approachability, while serving as a powerful reminder that extreme events can and do touch the lives of ordinary people on a daily ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Mass Shootings in Oregon

Photograph of Snyder Hall, site of the Umpqua Community College shooting, with corner of building visible next to lawn Kindra Neely's debut graphic memoir for young adults, Numb to This, documents her experiences as a survivor of the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in October of 2015. This was Oregon's deadliest mass shooting, resulting in 10 fatalities (including the gunman) and seven further casualties.

The incident is part of a larger pattern of gun violence in the state. Between 2014 and August of 2022, Oregon experienced a total of 22 mass shootings. Considering that 14 of those occurred since December of 2020, the rate of mass shootings seems to be accelerating in recent years. There is no single easy explanation for why this is, but the state (in line with several others) has seen a dramatic spike in gun sales since the outbreak of ...

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