"We Can Be Heroes" | Reviewed by Amber Glastetter
“We Can Be Heroes,” by Kyrie McCauley, is breathtaking, almost indescribable it’s so good. The book has already become a piece of me. McCauley’s words have buried themselves in my soul and even if I wanted to I couldn’t reverse the change this book has made in me.
The story begins with three friends, girls who live a life of laughter and sunflowers, Greek myths and cold lakes, Latin phrases and yellow vans. The trio is comprised of best friends who have found themselves in each other. And then—suddenly—there is no longer “each other.”
When Cassandra Queen is murdered by her ex-boyfriend Nico Bell, the son of a man who runs the biggest company in town, her friends Beck and Vivian drift apart feeling grief and anger. Cassie’s murder is painted as a love story gone awry, a good boy’s one mistake. That’s the case until Cassie’s ghost appears in the back of Beck’s van and everything comes crashing back.
Vigilante murals spread across the town accuse Bell, blame heaped on Bell’s Firearms, a company that’s been in the community for over 200 years, a business that employs 40 % of the town’s citizens.
The podcast “We Can Be Heroes” visits the town, reporting on a world of cases filled with abuse and murder and focusing righteously on Cassie’s story. Bell’s Firearms fights coldly against the hate directed at them. Cassie’s pleas for help when she was attacked were ignored, but will her plea for justice be as well?
“We Can Be Heroes” is a book that sticks with you. I wouldn’t be surprised if kids will continue to read it in school 20 years from now. I can’t thank McCauley enough for a book that’s so honest, so perfect, so brilliant.