Review by The Mole
It's 2020 and Leah goes to YOU OP 78 Academy. It's a state run secondary school for the poorer kids and offers a minimal education. It's a Friday and Leah's brother, Connor, has messed up her life by not taking his sister, Sally, to primary school so Leah has had to do it and ended up in a pre-school detention. When she hears 'popping' noises and screaming she starts to worry and then the door bursts open and some younger, year 9, kids rush in brandishing guns. Connor is in year 9! Amidst the shooting and confusion Leah runs with Anton, a classmate, and they hide. Lockdown has kicked in, a system to stop anyone being able to get out of school - it was installed after previous riots.
Concern over injured friends leads Leah to take a more active role in the siege than just hiding and waiting for help - the normal behaviour of the kids of the time. But will help come? And does anyone want to help them?
Tense from the very off until the last page I found myself needing to put it down to de-stress a bit but not able to leave it long either. It moves with a pace and leaves you sharing some of the horrors that Leah endures - and some of the tender moments too.
But this book is not about a siege in a school - well not for me anyway. It's about Leah finding herself, testing herself and growing in maturity and it's about conspiracy. Can these kids have really organised this siege themselves? And are they really in control of it?
A really good read if you've got the time and the energy.
Publisher - Hodder Children's
Genre - YA/Adult Thriller