Friday, 15 January 2010

The Returners by Gemma Malley

February 2010, Bloomsbury
288 pages, Paperback
Review Copy

Young Adult

Cushions: 4
Daggers: 2-3 (I think there was some strong language, and definitely violence)
Paperclips: 1
Tissues: 2
Yunaleska's recommended rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
(apologies - couldn't find a bigger picture of this particular edition's cover).

Summary from Bloomsbury

What happens when your past catches up with you and you don’t like what you see?A powerful novel that questions how we take responsibility for our actions
Will Hodges’ life is a mess! His mother is dead, he has no friends and he thinks he is being followed by a strange group of people who tell him they know him. But Will can’t remember them . . . at first. And when he does, he doesn’t like what he can remember.
While Will is struggling with unsettling memories, he learns that his past is a lot deeper than many people’s, and he has to find out if he is strong enough to break links with the powerful hold that history has on him.

A friend of mine might disagree with Will's views on ducks, but I got drawn into Will's character the moment the magic words were uttered: Final Fantasy. Any character who likes the games series gains my vote instantly.

I haven't read what I thought was the first book in the series, The Declaration (which for the observant is on my wishlist). It turns out that The Returners is a stand alone book. I apologise for that - I shouldn't review when I'm tired!

For a fair part of the book I thought Will was truly a nutcase and heading on a trip to a mental institution. I thought he was mad, until he encountered the people (who really are following him). The revelation of who he is was a shock to me. The concept of it is unpleasant to say the least. How Will reacted to this touched my heart. As the memories returned, I felt a bit sick because he was so repulsed by what he did.

I like how the book touched on the issue of people who are too nationalistic: they are people who want all foreigners out of the country, blame non-Caucasian people for all the problems in the country (and the world). I really dislike these kind of people, so having a character as one had me gripped to the book. It was sad how Will's neighbours had to suffer because of narrow-minded ignoramus-es. (Yes I may have made that last word up). Will isn't like them, not on purpose. But the political party's dark motives have Will facing not just the Returners, but the police too. It's quite enough to make anyone go a bit loopy. At least he has Claire, a friend he gets to know once again, and who actually helps him through his very messed up life.

I'm very eager to read the trilogy related to this book :) I'll try and review it here when I get my hands on a copy.

Liked this? Try Boom! by Mark Haddon


GMR said...

Interesting review....I do wonder how the first book may have helped (or not?) in revealing Will's true nature, but it seems like it was enjoyable on it's own as well! Look forward to the third (or first?) book review if you get a chance to post. (Oh, and I agree on the nationalistic issue as well...many contribute to a problem, not usually just one....)
Happy reading!

**NeonGlitter** said...

The Returners isn't part of The Declaration series, it's just a book on it's own. The Declaration series is The Declaration, The Resistance and then the third book which is coming soon. lol :-)

Melissa said...

Wow...what a great review! I haven't read this, but it sounds interesting enough that I may give it a go :)

Becky said...

I am totally confused. I thought this was the third book. Oh my! It has been a long day. Either way, it sounds good.

Yunaleska said...

GMR - I edited the post so hopefully it doesn't say this is the 2nd book anymore.

**NeonGlitter** - thank you for point out it wasn't the 2nd in the series. This is what happens when I review tired.

Melissa - thank you. It is good and I think I'll do a competition for it.

Becky - Yay! I'm glad I wasn't the only one slightly confused :) It was a long day for me too. It's good!