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Book Review: We Can Be Heroes by Kyrie McCauley (ARC)

"Kyrie McCauley, author of If These Wings Could Fly, delivers a powerful contemporary YA novel about a trio of girls fighting for each other in the aftermath of a school shooting and the lasting bonds of friendship. Perfect for fans of Laura Ruby and Mindy McGinnis.

“Welcome to Bell, proud home of Bell Firearms for two hundred years, and where five months ago, the teen heir to the Bell fortune took his father’s guns to school and killed his ex-girlfriend, Cassandra Queen.” —WE CAN BE HEROES PODCAST

Beck and Vivian never could stand each other, but they always tried their best for their mutual friend, Cassie. After the town moves on from Cassie’s murder too fast, Beck and Vivian finally find common ground: vengeance. They memorialize Cassie by secretly painting murals of her around town, a message to the world that Cassie won’t be forgotten. But Beck and Vivian are keeping secrets, like the third passenger riding in Beck’s VW bus with them—Cassie’s ghost.

When their murals catch the attention of a podcaster covering Cassie’s case, they become the catalyst for a debate that Bell Firearms can no longer ignore. With law enforcement closing in on them, Beck and Vivian hurry to give Cassie the closure she needs—by delivering justice to those responsible for her death."

Pages: 368


I received We Can Be Heroes by Kyrie McCauley for free by Harper360YA in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much for my advanced copy and Happy Book Birthday!

In We Can Be Heroes we follow our two protagonists Beck & Vivian after a tragic school shooting in which they lose their best friend Cassie. When the town refuses to take accountability for what happened the girls decide to take matters into their own hands and devise a way to get vengeance on Cassie’s behalf by painting murals in her honour around the town advocating for gun control. With the authorities closing in, will they be able to complete their plan without being caught? Or will they be involved in a movement much bigger than they ever anticipated?

Gosh where do I even start with this review? This story was absolutely INCREDIBLE! I was so moved by the characters and I really have to commend the author on such a brave and compelling concept. I also really loved the use of mixed media throughout the book. As well as having written prose there was also poems and podcast transcripts which suited the storytelling perfectly. I was so engrossed in this story, I didn’t want to put it down and I waned justice for Cassie.

I really enjoyed how greek mythology was woven into the story as well - especially how it was focused on the women from greek mythology because they are often forgotten or villainised a lot in literature and it was so nice and empowering to get that fresh perspective. It was so clever to parallel these mistreated women from old myth with the realities of modern day violence that is still happening against women all over the world.

I’m from the UK and fortunately have never been put into this kind of situation. The author’s writing was so amazingly brilliant throughout this story that I could feel the visceral fear, pain and helplessness that the characters were going through and it absolutely broke my heart that this is a reality for a lot of people every single day across the pond.

We Can Be Heroes is a powerful, chilling and insightful story that everybody needs to read! A story of friendship, justice and sisterhood - plus one of my favourite reads this year!

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