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It begins with a free and joyful act--but from then on, Michael finds it impossible even to remember what it felt like to be free and joyful. When he fires his new rifle into the air on his seventeenth birthday, he never imagines that the bullet will end up killing someone. But a mile away, a man is killed by that bullet as he innocently repairs his roof. And Michael keeps It begins with a free and joyful act--but from then on, Michael finds it impossible even to remember what it felt like to be free and joyful. When he fires his new rifle into the air on his seventeenth birthday, he never imagines that the bullet will end up killing someone. But a mile away, a man is killed by that bullet as he innocently repairs his roof. And Michael keeps desperately silent while he watches his world crumble. Meanwhile Jenna, the dead man's daughter, copes with desperation of her own.  Through her grief, she tries to understand why she no longer feels comfortable with her boyfriend and why a near stranger named Michael keeps appearing in her dreams. Suspenseful and powerfully moving, this is the unforgettable story of an accidental crime and its haunting web of repercussions.


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It begins with a free and joyful act--but from then on, Michael finds it impossible even to remember what it felt like to be free and joyful. When he fires his new rifle into the air on his seventeenth birthday, he never imagines that the bullet will end up killing someone. But a mile away, a man is killed by that bullet as he innocently repairs his roof. And Michael keeps It begins with a free and joyful act--but from then on, Michael finds it impossible even to remember what it felt like to be free and joyful. When he fires his new rifle into the air on his seventeenth birthday, he never imagines that the bullet will end up killing someone. But a mile away, a man is killed by that bullet as he innocently repairs his roof. And Michael keeps desperately silent while he watches his world crumble. Meanwhile Jenna, the dead man's daughter, copes with desperation of her own.  Through her grief, she tries to understand why she no longer feels comfortable with her boyfriend and why a near stranger named Michael keeps appearing in her dreams. Suspenseful and powerfully moving, this is the unforgettable story of an accidental crime and its haunting web of repercussions.

30 review for Swallowing Stones

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

    I HATE the ending of this book!!! I seriously want back the hours that I wasted reading this book!!! The story had such great suspense, building up to what could have been such a supreme moment of plot, but then it falls flat - no, worse than that, it ceases to exist as a narrative. It's as if the author couldn't write the ending that was destined to exist!! When I am forced to teach this book, which I avoid doing if I can, I have the class stop reading right before the last few pages to have my I HATE the ending of this book!!! I seriously want back the hours that I wasted reading this book!!! The story had such great suspense, building up to what could have been such a supreme moment of plot, but then it falls flat - no, worse than that, it ceases to exist as a narrative. It's as if the author couldn't write the ending that was destined to exist!! When I am forced to teach this book, which I avoid doing if I can, I have the class stop reading right before the last few pages to have my students "Beat the Author." They work in pairs or triads to write the ending that they think should occur. Then I mix all of the possible endings together, including the actual ending from the novel (which I type out so it looks like all of the others), and we do a read around and try to guess which is the actual ending. My students' versions are ALWAYS better!!! The original ending ruins everything that came before it! What a waste!!!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Karol

    This book was so mysterious and captivating, I could not put it down. Michael received a gun on his seventeenth birthday, and fires it into the woods. That bullet hits a man that was working on his roof and kills him. After firing the rifle Michael hears on the radio that the police is looking for the gun that matches the bullet.The police start rummaging Michael's neighbors, looking for the rifle. As all of this goes on, Michael becomes paranoid and tries to convince himself that that bullet di This book was so mysterious and captivating, I could not put it down. Michael received a gun on his seventeenth birthday, and fires it into the woods. That bullet hits a man that was working on his roof and kills him. After firing the rifle Michael hears on the radio that the police is looking for the gun that matches the bullet.The police start rummaging Michael's neighbors, looking for the rifle. As all of this goes on, Michael becomes paranoid and tries to convince himself that that bullet did not come out from his rifle. To make things worse, the man's daughter, Jenna attends the same school as Michael. Jenna starts having recurring dreams with Michael in them. They eventually form a friendship, and Michael starts going crazy from the guilt he feels, and turns himself into the police. I usually am not attracted to mystery books, but the way that the author wrote this book was amazing, and it was very hard for me to stop reading it. She definitely established the "sink in your teeth" effect in this book, and I would reccomend it to anyone.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The ENTIRE novel you're waiting for the moment when the two characters finally interact face to face...and the book ends right as it's about to happen. Seriously? The ENTIRE novel you're waiting for the moment when the two characters finally interact face to face...and the book ends right as it's about to happen. Seriously?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Charley Harpole

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Michael MacKenzie and a friend decide to shoot of a rifle on the Fourth of July at a family party; he had no idea of the consequences that would follow as a result of their actions. The bullet that they fired traveled through the air hit a man named Charlie Ward several blocks away in the head as he was fixing his roof. Michael finally realizes that he fired the shot that killed a man and he becomes a suspect in the case. So he decides to bury the rifle in his back yard under a pile of wood. Whe Michael MacKenzie and a friend decide to shoot of a rifle on the Fourth of July at a family party; he had no idea of the consequences that would follow as a result of their actions. The bullet that they fired traveled through the air hit a man named Charlie Ward several blocks away in the head as he was fixing his roof. Michael finally realizes that he fired the shot that killed a man and he becomes a suspect in the case. So he decides to bury the rifle in his back yard under a pile of wood. When the police come looking for the rifle, he claims that it was stolen from a friend’s car but this implicates his friend as an accessory. It is not long before Michael’s whole world starts to fall apart. Charley Ward had a daughter who, throughout the whole book is searching for her father’s killer. She soon hears, from gossip that the shot came from the Mackenzie house during a party. I thought this book was okay. It took me a while to get into reading it but once I did, I got sucked into the pages. This is a book about two lives that are separate but deeply intertwined. This book teaches a valuable lesson that even a harmless action can have unmistakable consequences that can affect you for the rest of your life.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    The internal conflict that Michael Mackenzie endures throughout the novel Swallowing Stones and the lies he must come up with to cover up his crime are some of the best features of this novel. The novel starts off with Michael Mackenzie carelessly firing off a new riffle he received as a birthday present; what Michael does not know is that his bullet traveled far enough in the air and ended up hitting a man that was fixing his roof. The next day, Michael learns of the man that was killed by a st The internal conflict that Michael Mackenzie endures throughout the novel Swallowing Stones and the lies he must come up with to cover up his crime are some of the best features of this novel. The novel starts off with Michael Mackenzie carelessly firing off a new riffle he received as a birthday present; what Michael does not know is that his bullet traveled far enough in the air and ended up hitting a man that was fixing his roof. The next day, Michael learns of the man that was killed by a stray bullet and right away, he and his friend Joe know that it had to have been Michael’s bullet that killed the man. The two friends come up with a plan to cover up Michael’s crime and quickly put the plan into motion. However, as Michael begins to understand the severity of his crime, he begins to feel guilty and hates the fact that he is lying to everyone, including the cops. In addition, Michael feels bad to the man’s family, especially for Jenna (the man’s daughter) that also attends his school. Since the novel drifts back and forth between what Michael is going through and what Jenna is going through, the reader gets a thorough understanding of how both characters are feeling and what they go through as they try to cope with this tragedy. I would highly recommend this novel to teachers because I believe that the novel can help students understand that actions have consequences and the themes in the novel are applicable to many scenarios and settings.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jena Guthrie

    Swallowing stones is a story about a seventeen year old boy named Michael who on his birthday recieves a rifle. He shoots one shot in the air, which changes his life; for the worse. A mile away, he has taken the life of a innocent man. As time progresses, Michael finds out he is the murderer. Jenna, the daughter of the man killed, has been completely devistated. Her relationship between her boyfriend and friends begin to change as she starts having dreams about Micheal, the boy in which she neve Swallowing stones is a story about a seventeen year old boy named Michael who on his birthday recieves a rifle. He shoots one shot in the air, which changes his life; for the worse. A mile away, he has taken the life of a innocent man. As time progresses, Michael finds out he is the murderer. Jenna, the daughter of the man killed, has been completely devistated. Her relationship between her boyfriend and friends begin to change as she starts having dreams about Micheal, the boy in which she never met. This accidental crime turned for the worst as the guilt haunts the mother, Jenna and Michael. As the story unfolds, Jenna and her mother become filled with guilt, examining all the precautions they could have taken so that the father wasn't outside at the time the gun was drawn. They begin to seperate themselves from their friends due to this guilt. Michael on the other hand, has a specific reason as to why he should be guilty. As the story is unfolding, Michael watches Jenna's everyday moves and begins to feel even worse about the accidental crime. I would reccomend this book to anyone that loves a suspicious and powerful story that brings guilt from crime, to life.

  7. 5 out of 5

    FANCEYY GURRAL ZARI AYE

    This book was so mysterious and captivating, I could not put it down. Michael received a gun on his seventeenth birthday, and fires it into the woods. That bullet hits a man that was working on his roof and kills him. After firing the rifle Michael hears on the radio that the police is looking for the gun that matches the bullet.The police start rummaging Michael's neighbors, looking for the rifle. As all of this goes on, Michael becomes paranoid and tries to convince himself that that bullet di This book was so mysterious and captivating, I could not put it down. Michael received a gun on his seventeenth birthday, and fires it into the woods. That bullet hits a man that was working on his roof and kills him. After firing the rifle Michael hears on the radio that the police is looking for the gun that matches the bullet.The police start rummaging Michael's neighbors, looking for the rifle. As all of this goes on, Michael becomes paranoid and tries to convince himself that that bullet did not come out from his rifle. To make things worse, the man's daughter, Jenna attends the same school as Michael. Jenna starts having recurring dreams with Michael in them. They eventually form a friendship, and Michael starts going crazy from the guilt he feels, and turns himself into the police. I usually am not attracted to mystery books, but the way that the author wrote this book was amazing, and it was very hard for me to stop reading it. She definitely established the effect in this book, and I would reccomend it to anyone.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Deb

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Swallowing Stones is a terrific young adult novel, posing some tough ethical questions. Jenna Ward's father is killed in a freak accident after a teenager shoots an antique Winchester into the air. The story is told from two different points of view: Jenna's and Michael, who fired the gun. As Jenna deals with her father's sudden death, Michael is wracked not only with his guilt, but with the pact he made with Joe, his best friend, to keep the circumstances of the accident secret. The portrayal o Swallowing Stones is a terrific young adult novel, posing some tough ethical questions. Jenna Ward's father is killed in a freak accident after a teenager shoots an antique Winchester into the air. The story is told from two different points of view: Jenna's and Michael, who fired the gun. As Jenna deals with her father's sudden death, Michael is wracked not only with his guilt, but with the pact he made with Joe, his best friend, to keep the circumstances of the accident secret. The portrayal of the two teens, their interactions with their friends, and their struggle with doing what is right, is quite realistic. The story was gripping, and I couldn't put it down! There is some mild sexual content (the description of very realistic emotions and physical reactions) that might prevent me from using this book with my 7th graders, but it's certainly a book that would capture their interest, and I think that the questions the book poses are probably worth a few "embarrassing" lines.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tommy Benson

    Swallowing Stones written by Joyce McDonald, is about two characters.Michael who was the one who shot the rifle and killed Jenna’s dad, Jenna is the second main character. Throughout the book they both go through struggles, Michael’s struggle is trying to cover up the killing and Jenna’s is trying to find the murderer, now for the review. This book is god awful it was one of the most boring books I've ever read and I've read the bible, now McDonald does a great job with detail in the book but hi Swallowing Stones written by Joyce McDonald, is about two characters.Michael who was the one who shot the rifle and killed Jenna’s dad, Jenna is the second main character. Throughout the book they both go through struggles, Michael’s struggle is trying to cover up the killing and Jenna’s is trying to find the murderer, now for the review. This book is god awful it was one of the most boring books I've ever read and I've read the bible, now McDonald does a great job with detail in the book but his characters are just boring and most of the time plain stupid. Right from the start of the book you can see what’s gonna happen in the end and there's no suspense whatsoever throughout the book. All the characters including the side ones have boring stories and are so generic and the ending oh god the ending was terrible, the book built up all this “Suspense” to just end it in a really boring forest scene. This message goes out to anybody who is going to read the book or wants to DON”T just pick up hunger games or something fun, you need to avoid this book as much as possible.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shalee

    Starting with a murder on the first page and revealing the killer on the second may not be conventional, but Joyce McDonald made in work in Swallowing Stones. It tells a story from two drastically different perspectives, each their own protagonist and partially the antagonist of the other. Jenna, who watched her father die, wants justice. Michael, who shot his new gun into the air a single time and accidentally killed a man, want the whole thing to blow over without getting caught. Throughout th Starting with a murder on the first page and revealing the killer on the second may not be conventional, but Joyce McDonald made in work in Swallowing Stones. It tells a story from two drastically different perspectives, each their own protagonist and partially the antagonist of the other. Jenna, who watched her father die, wants justice. Michael, who shot his new gun into the air a single time and accidentally killed a man, want the whole thing to blow over without getting caught. Throughout the book the ideas of everyone having their own story is emphasized. Anyone can relate to this book’s focus on making hard decisions, though generally not as drastic as the ones the characters must make. I picked this book primarily for its uniqueness, telling a story from conflicting viewpoints is something I’ve never seen before. Though not as exciting as what I had hoped, it definitely met my expectations, and, in some ways, exceeded them. Overall, Swallowing Stones is a good, very unique book that I would recommend to anyone looking for something outside of the usual.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mashfee Alam

    Joyce Mcdonald did a great job with creating an immense amount suspense in this book. It starts off with teenager Micheal shooting a rifle on his rooftop as a new years celebrations. The most unexpeccted thing hppened after this. He ended up killing a man from a mile away. As soon a he heard the news, hes been trying ever since to cover up all his tracks so no one would find out it was him. However, he stills feels alot of guilt, as shown when a kid in his school said it was his friend who shot Joyce Mcdonald did a great job with creating an immense amount suspense in this book. It starts off with teenager Micheal shooting a rifle on his rooftop as a new years celebrations. The most unexpeccted thing hppened after this. He ended up killing a man from a mile away. As soon a he heard the news, hes been trying ever since to cover up all his tracks so no one would find out it was him. However, he stills feels alot of guilt, as shown when a kid in his school said it was his friend who shot the gun, he punched him. His personal life ws also being extremely affeced by this. The book does a great job on showing his true feelings and how he truly regrets the act. It shows how every single day he thinks about it and even when hes about to do the smallest thing, he thinks about how it would affect them finding out that he was the one who shot the gun. I would reccomend this book to people who like suspence and self to self conflicts. Overall, it was a great book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Gwinn-bowles

    This book was so mysterious and captivating, I could not put it down. Michael received a gun on his seventeenth birthday, and fires it into the woods. That bullet hits a man that was working on his roof and kills him. After firing the rifle Michael hears on the radio that the police is looking for the gun that matches the bullet.The police start rummaging Michael's neighbors, looking for the rifle. As all of this goes on, Michael becomes paranoid and tries to convince himself that that bullet di This book was so mysterious and captivating, I could not put it down. Michael received a gun on his seventeenth birthday, and fires it into the woods. That bullet hits a man that was working on his roof and kills him. After firing the rifle Michael hears on the radio that the police is looking for the gun that matches the bullet.The police start rummaging Michael's neighbors, looking for the rifle. As all of this goes on, Michael becomes paranoid and tries to convince himself that that bullet did not come out from his rifle. well then Michael every night he sat on the church steps across from Jenna house with his head down.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Erin Reilly-Sanders

    Good, but I was reading rather quickly and didn't really get drawn too far into it. The "dream" scenes with the "Ghost Tree" were vaguely annoying because it sort of steps beyond the realm of realism but are probably necessary to deal with these types of deep feelings, similar to how fantasy can deal with issues of good and evil that would be cheesy in contemporary realistic fiction. The characters felt real and I thought that the realistic part of the ending was nicely and sensitively done. Good, but I was reading rather quickly and didn't really get drawn too far into it. The "dream" scenes with the "Ghost Tree" were vaguely annoying because it sort of steps beyond the realm of realism but are probably necessary to deal with these types of deep feelings, similar to how fantasy can deal with issues of good and evil that would be cheesy in contemporary realistic fiction. The characters felt real and I thought that the realistic part of the ending was nicely and sensitively done.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lily Gatto

    "Swallowing Stones" by Joyce McDonald is a mysterious realistic-fiction novel with just the right amount of suspense that makes you want to keep reading until the very end. In this book, the characters are learning all about life lessons and facing reality. This novel shows you how it can sometimes be hard to make the right decisions when you know they can come with difficult consequences. I recommend this book to any teenager who is looking for an easy mystery read. "Swallowing Stones" by Joyce McDonald is a mysterious realistic-fiction novel with just the right amount of suspense that makes you want to keep reading until the very end. In this book, the characters are learning all about life lessons and facing reality. This novel shows you how it can sometimes be hard to make the right decisions when you know they can come with difficult consequences. I recommend this book to any teenager who is looking for an easy mystery read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jacqueline V

    Very well written book, i enjoyed how it had different chapters for the different characters point of view on the whole situation that happened with Michael McKenzie and Jenna Wards father!! I would totally read it again:)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joselyn Vargas

    *Spoiler Alert*

  17. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Amezcua

    There was no real resolution to the book and it was just really slow too. It had a good plot line but there was just such more that could have been done with it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Madison

    "Swallowing stones"by Joyce McDonald is a very mysterious book. From the very beginning the book had me on the edge of my seat. Michael seemed like he was in deep trouble, and I had no idea how I was getting out of it. I also felt bad for Jenna, and didn't know how she would get through this hard time. The format of the book is set up well, and the book provides many details. The beginning was very good, but as it goes on the book becomes rather boring and nothing was really suspenseful anymore. "Swallowing stones"by Joyce McDonald is a very mysterious book. From the very beginning the book had me on the edge of my seat. Michael seemed like he was in deep trouble, and I had no idea how I was getting out of it. I also felt bad for Jenna, and didn't know how she would get through this hard time. The format of the book is set up well, and the book provides many details. The beginning was very good, but as it goes on the book becomes rather boring and nothing was really suspenseful anymore. The ending of the book was my least favorite part. I thought there would be a twist in the story, but the plot didn't change and it disappointed me. All in all the book was good and I enjoyed reading it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Abby

    Swallowing Stones is overall a great book. It uses emotion and real life instances that could happen. Michael makes a mistake that changes his life and must make a decision on how to live with it. He lives with guilt, shame, and keeps his mouth shut, which wasn't the right choice. As this 17 year old's life falls to pieces, another's is changed for the worse... due to Michael's mistake. And Jenna must take the toll for Michael's accident. As their two life intertwine, they will learn to cope and Swallowing Stones is overall a great book. It uses emotion and real life instances that could happen. Michael makes a mistake that changes his life and must make a decision on how to live with it. He lives with guilt, shame, and keeps his mouth shut, which wasn't the right choice. As this 17 year old's life falls to pieces, another's is changed for the worse... due to Michael's mistake. And Jenna must take the toll for Michael's accident. As their two life intertwine, they will learn to cope and deal with pain, bravery, and courage to get through what they anticipate is coming their way. I liked this book because it was very suspenseful and real. This book suited my style of reading and made me not want to put the book down!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Adrianna

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is great! The story builds up suspense through the whole book and when they suspected that the real killer's best friend may have killed Charlie Ward is probably the most suspenseful. After this part you begin wondering, Is Michael gonna take the blame and get his best friend out of trouble? But when it came to the end of the book it defiantly wasn't the best part because the author ended it with a cliff hanger when the whole book had been leading to the moment of what is gonna happen This book is great! The story builds up suspense through the whole book and when they suspected that the real killer's best friend may have killed Charlie Ward is probably the most suspenseful. After this part you begin wondering, Is Michael gonna take the blame and get his best friend out of trouble? But when it came to the end of the book it defiantly wasn't the best part because the author ended it with a cliff hanger when the whole book had been leading to the moment of what is gonna happen to Charlie Ward's killer and it didn't necessarily put it out there the author ended in a whats gonna happen next ending.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    I liked this book. I always had a feeling that maybe Michael didn´t even accidentally kill Charlie Ward. There was also a lot of character development with Amy Ruggerio and Meredith Ward. They were shown as these sort of nasty people, but they changed the reader´s perspectives on them. I only didn´t like one thing about this story. THERE WAS NO ENDING. I never got to see what happened to Michael and what Jenna and Meredith were going to do now that the killer has been found.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tyshawn

    This book is mainly about Micheal and Micheal was an ordinary boy until this one unordinary thing happend.On July 4th Micheal fired one shot out of his window with his winchestar rifle that was given to him by his grandfather for his birthday.But Micheal didnt kno that shooting one shot out his window will soon have a effect on him. For blocks away a man was reparing his roof and a bulet struk him and he feel and died right in front of his daughter.Micheal soon found out and just wanted to keep This book is mainly about Micheal and Micheal was an ordinary boy until this one unordinary thing happend.On July 4th Micheal fired one shot out of his window with his winchestar rifle that was given to him by his grandfather for his birthday.But Micheal didnt kno that shooting one shot out his window will soon have a effect on him. For blocks away a man was reparing his roof and a bulet struk him and he feel and died right in front of his daughter.Micheal soon found out and just wanted to keep quiet about the hole thing .But Micheal begin to crumble. The prediction I mad about the book was that I Micheal wouldnt tell a soul that he think he killed Mr ward with his winchestar rifleand he didnt tell anyone at all. Another prediction I made was that Micheal will soon get caught and be sent to prison but i havent mad it that far into the book so I cant tell anything i dont no. BUT Micheal will keep everything between him and his friend and want say a word.Micheal would also keep to himself until eveything die down Micheal said that he that he would thats my evidence. Text to world In the world stuff like this happen all the the time pepole get killed and the police cant find the killer. And in this case some pepole kill others without noing. For an Example a man on television was shaking a baby up but he was just playin with him but the baby start shakin real fast then stop suddently and the man just put him down and put some cover over him and let him sleep not noing that the baby just died from areal bad secaur. I visualized Micheal sitting in front of the church everyday after working thinking about what was jenna ward was doin and how was she feeling noing that her farther's killer is still out there and knowing that the police might not find him. I also visualized Micheal sitting in his room thinking abouttalkin to jeena about her farther but he didnt want her to be mad at him or nun. Another and the last visualization i made was jenna was goin to tghe pool and i was thing or visualizing that jenna feet was in the water and she was lookin at life gaurd who was Micheal out the corner of her eye. An inference i made was that Micheal would soon get his drivers licences and everything he was thinking about will soon become cold which means old in the justice system. But Micheal soon got his drivers licences and eveything started to die down but his brother told him that pepole was comeing from door to door askin questions about Mr wards death. But MIcheal still didnt pay any attention to it Micheal had kept on doin things that he normally do. Another inference I made was that jenna would soon start taking matters into her own hand and the evidence I got is that she said that If the police dont get evidence she will and she started to look for clues for her farthers death there for they will be behind bars. I really like action movies and books there for i love this book and I understand this book. I would certanly tell my friends about this book or i might just keep reading it for more understanding. I just want to kn ow this book like the back of my hand.I think Micheal played a good part the characters i like is jenna beacuse she stayed strong and held her ground and i like Micheal because any other persion would just went on and kept liven there life haven fun and stuff but he was sorry that he did that Micheal was sorry but didnt know how to say it without going to jail or what ever they was goin do with him. I give my book a five star rating because it provided evidence for me to know and it gave me more facts that help me figure how the m,an was killed.I would recommend this book because its action pact and pepole love books like this. I learned what will happen if you shot a bulet up in the air what goes up must come down just hope it dont come down on someone.i might seek out another action book like this one so i can be a wizard at criminal justice and so i can already know whats goin on if some one dies but i would give this book a five this book is awesome.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    This is one of those books that I just didn't want to put down once I started reading. The storyline for this book was different than anything I've ever read. Michael shoots a gun up into the air and accidentally kills someone from over a mile away. No one, except for Michael and his best friend, knows who did pulled the trigger. You see Michael's internal struggle throughout the novel and his inability to find the right way to tell the daughter of the man who was struck by his bullet that he's This is one of those books that I just didn't want to put down once I started reading. The storyline for this book was different than anything I've ever read. Michael shoots a gun up into the air and accidentally kills someone from over a mile away. No one, except for Michael and his best friend, knows who did pulled the trigger. You see Michael's internal struggle throughout the novel and his inability to find the right way to tell the daughter of the man who was struck by his bullet that he's the one who killed her father. I gave this novel four stars because the ending was dissatisfying. Joyce McDonald leaves us hanging just as Michael is about to confront the daughter and confess what he had done, so it feels unfinished without a second book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Molly

    Despite its cover, which seemed rather youthful and innocent, this book is incredibly deep - filled with metaphors and murder, difficult decisions, complex relationships, and an overarching theme of truth and how difficult it can be to reveal it. I enjoyed reading this book and couldn't wait to see what Michael would do in the end. That said, the ending was a bit disappointing to me for some reason. I almost felt like it ended too quickly, and that there should have been more to the story. Still Despite its cover, which seemed rather youthful and innocent, this book is incredibly deep - filled with metaphors and murder, difficult decisions, complex relationships, and an overarching theme of truth and how difficult it can be to reveal it. I enjoyed reading this book and couldn't wait to see what Michael would do in the end. That said, the ending was a bit disappointing to me for some reason. I almost felt like it ended too quickly, and that there should have been more to the story. Still, it was very well written and suspenseful, and I would recommend it to those who like mysteries, especially murder mysteries, or realistic fiction.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kyla

    Swallowing Stones is 4 star book. This is marvelous book to read. It's about a man named Charlie being shot on an accident by the main character Michael who doesn't find out until later. While Michael tries to deal with the guilt the victim's daughter Jenna tries to deal with the pain. Some good things about this book is the character development. An example of this would be when Jenna got anxiety around her boyfriend Jason and then at the end she forgives him and they go back to normal. Anothe Swallowing Stones is 4 star book. This is marvelous book to read. It's about a man named Charlie being shot on an accident by the main character Michael who doesn't find out until later. While Michael tries to deal with the guilt the victim's daughter Jenna tries to deal with the pain. Some good things about this book is the character development. An example of this would be when Jenna got anxiety around her boyfriend Jason and then at the end she forgives him and they go back to normal. Another example of this would be when m

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlyn

    I think the book "Swallowing Stones" was a very interesting book. I enjoyed knowing the characters feelings. The plot of this story was very interesting for me personally. I felt like it started right away from the moment you open the book and read the first page. I felt that Micheal shouldn't of kept the killing of Charlie Ward a secret for this long because it is now going to turn into a bigger issue. When the police came I felt like he should of confessed but he didn't want to let his mom, da I think the book "Swallowing Stones" was a very interesting book. I enjoyed knowing the characters feelings. The plot of this story was very interesting for me personally. I felt like it started right away from the moment you open the book and read the first page. I felt that Micheal shouldn't of kept the killing of Charlie Ward a secret for this long because it is now going to turn into a bigger issue. When the police came I felt like he should of confessed but he didn't want to let his mom, dad, and brother.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Liz B

    Very thinky problem novel. Main character shoots his gun into the air and accidentally kills a man fixing his roof a mile or two away. We get the PoV of the shooter and of the victim's daughter. Should he confess? Should he continue to cover it up? The main characters think and think and think and think. Not my kind of book at all, but it's a good choice for book clubs, not only because kids will have a lot to talk about, but because it is exactly the right kind of book for some kids. Very thinky problem novel. Main character shoots his gun into the air and accidentally kills a man fixing his roof a mile or two away. We get the PoV of the shooter and of the victim's daughter. Should he confess? Should he continue to cover it up? The main characters think and think and think and think. Not my kind of book at all, but it's a good choice for book clubs, not only because kids will have a lot to talk about, but because it is exactly the right kind of book for some kids.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lillian

    [3.5 stars] At first, I did not believe this book was for me, especially since I had to read it for school. As the story progressed, I felt more drawn towards the characters and story. I was on edged the entire time, wondering what was going to happen next. The ending, though, was a bit unsatisfying as I was expecting something more. I would still recommend this book to anyone who likes those kinds of endings or to someone who loves to be on edged the entire time.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    I loved this book. It was serious in nature and handled the situation in a believable manner. About 3/4 through the book I thought I had figured out what "the twist" was going to be but was pleasantly surprised at the ending. Bit of a cliff-hanger, only because it doesn't actually take you to the ending, but I was still completely satisfied with how the story resolved. Will definitely recommend. I loved this book. It was serious in nature and handled the situation in a believable manner. About 3/4 through the book I thought I had figured out what "the twist" was going to be but was pleasantly surprised at the ending. Bit of a cliff-hanger, only because it doesn't actually take you to the ending, but I was still completely satisfied with how the story resolved. Will definitely recommend.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ciana Esquivel

    Aww man I really love the way the author put the story together and how it was written. Couldn't put the book down and it was a really easy read. I just wish that there was more to the ending! You can't leave a good story like that with and ending that makes you use your imagination. Make this book a duo logy or something😂 Aww man I really love the way the author put the story together and how it was written. Couldn't put the book down and it was a really easy read. I just wish that there was more to the ending! You can't leave a good story like that with and ending that makes you use your imagination. Make this book a duo logy or something😂

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