Friday, 18 November 2011

Crossing The Line by Gillian Philip * * * * *



One year ago, Allie's boyfriend was killed in a knife attack. Her brother, Nick, worries about her - does she really still see and hear Aidan as she claims or is she pretending? and how much did his actions, or lack of them, lead to Aidan's death?

All his life, Nick has felt he has no one to depend on or turn to, particularly with problems. His mother is lost in her job- doling out sympathy and advice for others. His father is lost in his booze. His Grandmother is lost in old age. The only person Nick can depend on is himself - but what if he got things wrong and he's the one who messed everything up?

This is intended as a Young Adult novel but I found it engrossing, moving, funny at times and a little disturbing - these are, after all, fairly normal teenagers trying to cope with school life not drug gangs. The action moves quickly, between 'Then', the lead up to the fatal stabbing, and 'Now' as Nick tries to sort things out and move on, to a nail biting, spooky ending that will leave you wondering.

Would recommend this for adults as well as their teenagers.



The Mole said...
I have now read this and want to add my experience of reading as a comment rather than a separate review. I found this book truly excellent and easily worthy of the 5 stars Maryom has awarded it. It deals with youth culture and a violent death. I truly abhor violence and this made much of the book disturbing, but it was still compelling and I felt I gained from the reading. I feel I want to avoid the word 'enjoy' though because 'enjoy' is for books that leave you with only a happy glow, whereas here I felt more disturbed by the story than glowing from it. Although I could identify with some of the characters, at school I couldn't truly identify with Nick. I was picked on at school (you were either a bully or bullied - there was no middle ground) until one day I 'lost it' and got close to breaking a kids arm. I was frightened by the loss of control that violence had caused and it reinforced my abhorrence of violence and I never 'lost it' a second time. There are happier themes of teenage love in the story as well, but sadly not everything comes out rosy in those themes either. My one comment - not a criticism, merely a comment - is that it is written in the first person of a 17 year old boy, some of the observations reflect more life experience than I would expect and certainly some of the style comments (girl's hair, clothes etc) are not the kind of thing a man, let alone a boy, would come out with. None of this though detracted from the excellence of the book.

1 comment:

  1. I have now read this and want to add my experience of reading as a comment rather than a separate review.

    I found this book truly excellent and easily worthy of the 5 stars Maryom has awarded it. It deals with youth culture and a violent death. I truly abhor violence and this made much of the book disturbing, but it was still compelling and I felt I gained from the reading. I feel I want to avoid the word 'enjoy' though because 'enjoy' is for books that leave you with only a happy glow, whereas here I felt more disturbed by the story than glowing from it. Although I could identify with some of the characters, at school I couldn't truly identify with Nick. I was picked on at school (you were either a bully or bullied - there was no middle ground) until one day I 'lost it' and got close to breaking a kids arm. I was frightened by the loss of control that violence had caused and it reinforced my abhorrence of violence and I never 'lost it' a second time.

    There are happier themes of teenage love in the story as well, but sadly not everything comes out rosy in those themes either.

    My one comment - not a criticism, merely a comment - is that it is written in the first person of a 17 year old boy, some of the observations reflect more life experience than I would expect and certainly some of the style comments (girl's hair, clothes etc) are not the kind of thing a man, let alone a boy, would come out with. None of this though detracted from the excellence of the book.

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