Book Review: That's Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger

Book Review

Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Publication Date: August 28th, 2018
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Buy Links: Kinokuniya Malaysia | MPH Online
Source: Huge thanks to Pansing Distribution for the proof copy in exchange for an honest review.
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It's been three years since the Virgil County High School shooting. Three years since my best friend, Sarah, was killed in a bathroom stall. Everyone knows Sarah's story.

But it's not true.

I know because I was there when she died. 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.

And the fake Sarah story is important to a lot of people, people who don't take kindly to what I'm trying to do. The more I learn, the less certain I am about what's worse: the guilt of staying silent or the consequences of speaking up …


The story follows of the aftermath of shooting happened at Virgil County High School. There are 6 students who are there at the scene of when that happened. Every one of them has their own story and how that has impacted them in their daily life. However, Lee/Leanne has been live with the guilty. She felt that she needs to tell everyone the truth of what had actually happened to her best friend, Sarah which apparently is not as easy as she thought.

I like the story concept of this book and how it was written in a letter format for us to actually know the truth of what had happened on that day besides knowing it from media. So, in this book, it was a letter written by Lee and all 5 survivals. Each was told from their own point of view. From the story, we have been told they're struggling with to survive day by day which it’s never been easy for them but they try their hard to lives a good life or they pretend to that they already forgot about it when they don't. When Sarah's (one of the victim) parents was about to publish the book about their daughter, Lee decided she needs to tell Sarah's parents and all people the truth of what had happened that day and she decided to write a letter about it and she hopes other 5 survivals will do the same as well to write a letter so, she can compile them all but it was hard and when she told the truth, it does not turn out well.

I like it was written in a letter format, however, the dialogues keep me confused and it kinda frustrates me. Several times when I read the book, I was lost and I was like, 'wait, who is it again?' and unfortunately, the characters are not likable. I just..I find it hard to like any of them although, the small romance between Lee and Miles is cute and that's that. The story was okay although it takes me a bit longer to actually get what actually Lee wants to tell us. Other than that, I do want to know the truth as well but most of the time, I was lost so, it kinda affects my mood when I read it. In conclusion, maybe this book isn't for me but it might work well with anyone of you. Don't let my review stop you from reading it.