Hmm. This caught my eye when I was on placement and when I spotted it in the library I felt compelled to pick it up. Whilst this book had beautiful language and imagery, I felt the plot was slow and for me, needed more pace. For the most of it, I just wanted to finish this book. However, the last chapter and ending threw me off a bit and gave a me found respect for the message within this book. Impressed, I was left.
Paul Vanderman goes to school like any other normal kid. He deals with the teachers, girls and friends like any other. And like any other school there are bullies too. However, they may not be bullies like Roth, leading of the gang at a nearby school. Paul tries to keep his distance from the feud between the two schools, but for some reason Roth keeps finding reasons for Paul to stick around.
That is probably the best way to describe this book. I had preconceptions of it in my head, and gritty is the only one that survived the book. I thought it would stereotypical, school type scare book with typical characters and expectant outcomes, but I don’t think I could have been further from the truth.
Although set in a gritty atmosphere with a gritty topic, the imagery and language McGowan used in this book was beautiful. One that meant I was happy to keep reading, even if I had started to lose interest in the story a bit.
The pace of the book lacked a bit, but it was a good build of tension. I was expecting more action to take place, but instead was just one gigantic build up. Not that I overly minded, as I was constantly stimulated by the descriptions McGowan continually threw at me.
I was the ending that got me though. I was blind sided by it, and I was thoroughly impressed by the way that it was handled. A whole new perspective on this novel created in the last chapter. Phenomenal.
A definite recommend to all. Enlightening and beautiful. Even if gritty.