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That's Not What Happened  By  cover art

That's Not What Happened

By: Kody Keplinger
Narrated by: Whitney Dykhouse,Megan Tusing,Almarie Guerra,Carly Robins,Ron Butler,Scott Lange
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Interview: Kody Keplinger, author of That's Not What Happened and The Duff, caught up with editor Rachael Xerri to talk about representation, how geek girls find their way, and how audiobooks aid accessibility.

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Publisher's summary

It’s been three years since the Virgil County High School Massacre. Three years since my best friend, Sarah, was killed in a bathroom stall during the mass shooting. Everyone knows Sarah’s story - that she died proclaiming her faith.

But it’s not true.

I know because I was with her when she died. I didn’t say anything then, and people got hurt because of it. Now Sarah’s parents are publishing a book about her, so this might be my last chance to set the record straight...but I’m not the only survivor with a story to tell about what did - and didn’t - happen that day.

Except Sarah’s martyrdom is important to a lot of people, people who don’t take kindly to what I’m trying to do. And the more I learn, the less certain I am about what’s right. I don’t know what will be worse: the guilt of staying silent or the consequences of speaking up....

©2018 Kody Keplinger (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about That's Not What Happened

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    3 out of 5 stars

✫✫ 3.5 Stars ✫✫

This review is based more on the writing style, story and character development than the subject matter. While this is a really hard subject matter, the story line felt very meh to me. I didn't really feel the characters the way I thought I would and the way this story was written leads you to believe that there is a BIG secret and to be honest, the secret was not important and didn't even matter to the story in the end. I think I understand what the author was trying to express in this book but I just felt like it didn't come across in a big enough way.

The narration was great, each character has their own voice which is important in a story like this.

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24 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Powerful. Not your typical story.

If you’re looking for a thrilling mystery or if you crave the knowledge of why some kid would shoot up his school this is not the book for you. This is about trauma. This is about victims. This book is about how media and hearsay can take away people’s truth. I saw bad reviews saying that this story was boring and to be honest they really proved the authors point. Because the truth can be boring but it can also be sad and beautiful.

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15 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Thinking about Colombine

So I'm a true crime junkie and obsessed with historical fiction so when I saw this book my brain immediately jumped to Colombine and had to have it. It wasn't quite what I expected but really made me think about what it means to be a survivor of a mass shooting. The stories we've been fed by the media are sensationalized and leave the survivors even more hurt and confused than before. This book was a wonderful retelling of the story from the sides that actually matter.

The reason I only give it 4 stars is because it was a bit slow moving, and there was some repetition, and relating with a teenage brain is a little difficult for an adult. Aside from that, great story.

Also, a little hint before diving in. Listen to the song Cassie by Flyleaf and really dig into the lyrics and its revision over time. I know it sounds weird but to me it adds a lot of dimension to Le's story.

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13 people found this helpful

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Pretty Good

While I liked the premise of the book, I don’t think it was executed very well. It wasn’t until about 2/3 in that I finally started to get into it, but then the big “secret” wasn’t as punchy as I thought it’d be. I understand the significance, but given the circumstances it felt like the main character was messing up everyone’s lives for her own peace of mind. Also in all the chapters that are supposed to be letters: people don’t write dialogue in letters! It felt weird and unrealistic.

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5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

a white man reading a black person's character.

a black charactor should be read by a black actor, PERIOD!!!!! The book took too long to get to the point.

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3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great representation of grief

Displayed the complications of grief and the little I know of PTSD very well. Almost cried so many times I had to come back to it. Yes, many parts are sad. But they’re necessary and enlightening to what might be going on in others’ lives.

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3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

My teen & I both enjoyed this one!

This book grabbed & kept our attention. I was reluctant to let her read it at first so, I compromised & downloaded the audiobook. Our time was not wasted. Very eye opening.

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3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I could not put it down

The story really pulled me in. There are several things that the story brings into awareness. It highlighted how wrong assumptions and judgments can be. It shows how rumors can take on a life of their own. People don’t want to hear the truth. It also illustrates what our youth face in these tragic times of school shootings. Great story.

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2 people found this helpful

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Amazing Read!

The emotional aspects of the stories each character tells really hits you. I mean, there were moments when I had to stop and breath myself, just hearing each person describe their experiences. This story is an excellent example of how tragedy, rumors, and misplaced judgement can prevent proper healing. It really makes you think about how we should respond when we hear about things like school shootings and the victims and survivors

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

YA Novel

The story was interesting, but not intriguing for long. The main narrator was a bit whiny, but overall did a good job. The story line was very much full of high school drama, although with deeper issues. I wish I had realized it was more YA before before listening.

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1 person found this helpful