Saturday, 3 July 2010
Copy type: Review copy
Genre: Young Adult General Fiction
Daggers: 4 (some of the violence gets quite tense although nothing truly gory happens)
Gerry's recommended rating: ♥♥♥
This cleverly constructed narrative consists of three points of view: of Gary, constantly victimised by the school bully in a nasty, name-calling and vindictive way; the bully's friend, David and a new girl to the school, Zoe. All viewpoints are revealing. Gary reveals the painful and often unsuccessful attempts by a young man to control his anger under great provocation - and his inability to communicate. David is someone who is uncomfortable with the bullying but doesn't dare to do anything about it - until the end. Zoe is a young woman who can see Gary through different eyes and is independent, freethinking and brave. Also featured in this title are rampaging tractors, shotguns and cheese puffs.
The story follows 4 characters over the course of a week. During that week we feel the anger and frustration of Gary as he is bullied by Paul Knaggs, we feel the nervousness and frustration of Zoe as she has moved out of the city and lost all her friends and we feel the frustration of David who knows what the right thing to do is but won't because Paul is his best friend.
The book is very compelling, easy to read and enjoyable. Each chapter is written with the first person as a different character - either Zoe, David or Gary and is headed with the characters name. I found this a bit superfluos because the characters are drawn well enough to know which "I" is speaking.
Unfortunately I found the end to be abrupt and not really an end for me. This is the only reason it gets 3 stars from me instead of 4. What ending would I like to have seen? I really don't know, it's just that everything just seems to hang. A fairy tale ending? Perhaps that's what I would have liked, but then I'm old and it wasn't written for old people.
Alternate reading would be Crossing the line by Gillian Philip.
Authors website: http://www.jimcarrington.co.uk/