22/05/2014

Review: 'Graham's Charlotte' by Drew Farnsworth

Well that was refreshing. Bumped into this entirely by accident, and so glad I did. Now, I dont do summaries of the story (too much chance of spoilers and others have already told the tale), but let me tell you what I thought about the book.

Its a spy adventure/techno-thriller. Whilst its set in a school environment, it neatly avoids most of the cliches and stereotypes of the location (unlike ‘I am Number 4’), and actually turns several of them on their heads. The strong female lead is not so unusual in YA, but Mads is believable and appealing in her uncertainty.

The style reminds me strongly of Malorie Blackman (especially her collection ‘Deadly Dare Mysteries’), or Kimberly Pauley’s ‘Sucks to be Me’ books. The action is tight paced, the secondary characters dense enough not to feel like cardboard cut-outs, and whilst the book touches on schoolyard politics, it doesn’t dwell on them or get bogged down in unnecessary romance.

My only gripe with the book is the title. It does make sense within the context of the book, but its not descriptive or indicative of the content. Dont let it put you off.

Quite my most enjoyable YA read since ‘Shift’ by Kim Curran. Recommended

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