Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review by Midwest Book Review:

WIN

WIN: A Memoir of a School Shooting

Gabe Medrano

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781432793623

Reviewer: Nicollette Violante

In this short book, “WIN: A Memoir of a School Shooting” author Gabe Medrano tells his story of an altercation he had with a gang at a high school in Fort Worth, Texas. The title is a bit misleading, as I thought that Medrano’s experience would be something like Columbine, but nonetheless, it offers not only an officer’s perspective, but also a situation that is all too often left out or brushed over in the media: gang violence. The actual account of the event itself is very short in the book, but what I appreciated was that Medrano discusses what his duties were as a school resource officer (SRO) and the aftermath of the altercation with a gang at a high school. Medrano’s goal was to shed some light on the event, and he most definitely accomplishes his goal.

Medrano’s writing is simple; it’s like he is talking to you in person. While his prose is not the most sophisticated, it’s an easy read. I would say that this book is for the citizens of Fort Worth, other police officers, and for the general public. As someone who has attended a public middle school that did have gang violence, it was interesting to read about what happens to the officers who often have to intervene in these altercations. I wish he would have discussed more about the problem of gun violence among gangs, especially since gun violence happens all the time in poorer schools. However, Medrano does clarify that he is merely giving his account of the event; it’s his personal memoir and he will not comment on matters that do not pertain to this event. He does discuss bullying and some of the things that he has observed during his time as an SRO, but other than that there are no larger themes that he discusses; which is all well and good, especially since the book is a memoir, not a social commentary.

What I recommend is to double check the editing; a few editing and grammatical errors must have slipped through the cracks. Also, while Medrano’s writing was simple and easy to read, starting a sentence with “man” is not professional. Cutting back on the slang or vernacular use of words would make the book much more professional. All in all, “WIN: A Memoir of a School Shooting” by Gabe Medrano was an easy read that offers a different account and perspective on gang violence.