Time Bomb by Joelle Charbonneau @jcharbonneau #bookreview #YA

Title: Time Bomb

Author: Joelle Charbonneau

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: March 13, 2018

Page Count: 352

My rating:  5 stars

About the book:

Seven students trapped in their school after a bomb goes off must fight to survive while also discovering who among them is the bomber in this provocative new thriller from the author of the New York Times bestselling Testing Trilogy. Perfect for fans of This Is Where It Ends. 

A congressman’s daughter who has to be perfect. A star quarterback with a secret. A guy who’s tired of being ignored. A clarinet player who’s done trying to fit in. An orphaned rebel who wants to teach someone a lesson. A guy who wants people to see him, not his religion.

They couldn’t be more different, but before the morning’s over, they’ll all be trapped in a school that’s been rocked by a bombing. When they hear that someone inside is the bomber, they’ll also be looking to one another for answers.

Told from multiple perspectives, Time Bomb will keep readers guessing about who the bomber could be—and what motivated such drastic action.


When I first saw the description of Time Bomb by Joelle Charbonneau I couldn’t help but be extremely curious. Last year I had heard all the buzz for This Is Where It Ends and had high hopes when I picked that one up only to be really disappointed. However, after reading Time Bomb I have to say that this one was what I was looking for last year.

For me as a reader I had thought This is Where It Ends completely lacked character development and I simply was never drawn into the students stories or brought to any kind of level of caring as they went through such a horrific event. I also thought that the author had taken the opportunity to write about a school with diversity in her characters and turned it into something that felt awkward at any mention of the diversity.

Time Bomb made such an improvement on those major areas that had bothered me in This Is Where It Ends and actually brought a horrific and very much a realistic event to life. The entire book takes place over a couple of hours during a time a few students were in their school when bombs began to explode. It changes the point of view between six main characters that are each still alive and struggling with how to get out of the school.

The book has a very intense vibe to it as the story unfolds but in the back of my mind I also made the comparison to the Breakfast Club with the group that formed. We had the football star, the princess who is a Senator’s daughter and Ms. Perfect of the school, the tattooed bad boy, the overweight and bullied outsider, but then stretching the cast of characters even more and bringing the story into this decade was the boy who had not only just come out to his family as gay but was also a mixed race, and then we had a Muslim student who struggled daily with the prejudices against him.

As the story began and with each chapter changing the point of view it was easy to see that the entire group all had their own secrets and struggles. It became clear that all would have a motive for being behind the bombing so it leads the readers to the question of which one really did it? With a short cast of suspects I’m sure many may guess but regardless this was one that made me feel I’d stepped into this horrible scenario and was on the edge of my seat waiting for the outcome.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Find this book online: 

Goodreads  /   Amazon


About the author: 

I am a storyteller at heart. I have performed in a variety of operas, musical theatre and children’s theatre productions across the Chicagoland area.

While I’m happy to perform for an audience, I am equally delighted to teach private voice lessons and use my experience from the stage to create compelling characters on the page. I am the author of the Rebecca Robbins mystery series (Minotaur Books), The Paige Marshall Glee Club mysteries (Berkley) and The Testing YA triology (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).




Categories: Uncategorized

15 replies

    • I saw this one and almost passed it by after my experience with This is Where it Ends. I noticed though I had read one of Joelle’s other books though and remembered liking it so I took a chance and glad I did. This one just seemed to be what I found lacking in the other showing you can learn about the characters and their differences and still get caught up in their situation.

      Liked by 1 person

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