Mom’s Choice Award
Gold Readers’ Favorite Book Award
Gold Literary Classics International Book Award
Literary Classics Book Award Finalist
Literary Classics Seal of Approval
Book Excellence Award
First Place WV Writer’s Award
American Fiction Award Finalist Best Young Adult
London Book Festival Honorable Mention
Sitting in a move theater with her dad, Meri checks her phone for a good time to go to the ladies’ room. She leaves during a battle scene and meets her soon-to-be new best friend, Fiona, in the restroom. To their mutual horror, a bomb goes off in the theater. Meri awakes in the hospital to find out her world is changed forever.
Coping with PTSD is real to veterans and to those of all ages who experience shocking horror and loss. Meri sees the changes to her family and her life and with the help of an unlikely friend, her faith, and her family, is able to move forward to a new future.
Vernita Naylor for Readers’ Favorite –
“If I had learned anything about life after Dad’s death, it was to expect the unexpected,” says Americka – aka Meri – in Bombs Bursting In Air by Lisa A. McCombs. When Meri went with her dad, a retired veteran, to see a war movie, she thought that she was being punished. Instead of continually hearing the loud bombs and explosions going off in the movie, Meri began to wonder why wasn’t she spending time at the mall with her friends, Holly and Janie? A simple day at the theatre turned into a tragic occurrence when a terrorist opened fire. What saved Meri was her need to go to the restroom where she met her new friend, Fiona. As Meri travels through her journey to recover from her injuries, as well as the loss of her dad, Meri discovers that Fiona will become a pivotal part of her healing. Also, Fiona becomes the glue that helps Meri to not only heal, but bring an element that neither she nor her mother knew existed since her father’s death.
As I read Bombs Bursting In Air by Lisa A. McCombs, I became engrossed in not only the story, but in the realization that in a blink of an eye life can take a turn for the worst. As we step out of our door, drive in our car, or continue with our daily routine the unexpected can occur. There is nothing in life that says we will return from whence we came, and this is the case in Bombs Bursting In Air. Lisa A. McCombs brought it home in showing that in today’s culture there is constant disruption and discord. These elements cause division and a high level of actions from terrorism and racism to other acts of violence. Bombs Bursting In Air by Lisa A. McCombs will stop and make you think about how these tragic occurrences have lasting effects, like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), on those that experience it, whether directly or indirectly.
Jack Mangus for Reader’s Favorite –
Bombs Bursting in Air is a Christian coming of age novel for young adults written by Lisa A. McCombs. Americka loved her dad, and she enjoyed doing things with him, but she just didn’t share his taste in movies. Somehow, she had gotten persuaded to go to the movies with him that afternoon, and, of course, it was a war movie. You would think that three tours in the Middle East would have satisfied his interest in war, but that wasn’t the case. He seemed to want to share his wartime experiences with his family by having them watching war movies with him, but Meri really didn’t appreciate the chaos, blood and noise that accompanied those movies. She was starting to fidget as well from drinking her soda much too quickly. Her dad really wanted her to stay for the best part of the movie, but Meri couldn’t wait another minute and rushed up the aisle to the restrooms in the lobby. As she bemoaned her pathetic life while taking care of business, she was surprised to hear a response from the nearby stall. Yes, there was a fellow sufferer escaping for a few moments from a movie they’d rather skip, but had attended for a loved one. Meri was surprised to find she had common ground with Fiona. She was older and wore the kind of makeup and hairdo one associated with goths or emo-kids. That said, they seemed to hit it off really well and found themselves giggling crazily at their messed up Saturday afternoon. As they both spent a minute or two reapplying lip gloss, which they noticed was the same brand and color, they suddenly heard the first and then two more succeeding explosions and the sounds of crying and screaming. Nothing would be the same again.
Lisa A. McCombs’ Christian coming of age novel for young adults, Bombs Bursting in Air, is a thoughtful and well-written story that addresses the impact of terrorism, both abroad and domestic, on young people. Many of them have parents who served terms as did Meri’s father, and the incidences of domestic terrorism in this and other countries can instill danger and risk into even the most ordinary and innocuous activities such as attending a movie with your dad. McCombs’ heroine, Meri, loses both her father and her ability to speak in that random matinee bombing, and seeing how she and her mother come to terms with their losses is inspiring. Meri’s path towards healing also takes her into a most unusual and welcoming church; a place where faith and song seemed to mesh most gloriously for her. Bombs Bursting in Air discusses questions many young people may have about the motivations of those who seem to delight in destructive and random acts of terror and the impact it has on so many, and it does so in a positive and life-affirming matter. Bombs Bursting in Air is highly recommended.