Review by The Mole
When James, thirteen, runs from his stepdad after yet another argument he comes across a stranger, Webster, - a man who is injured and extremely ill. James decides to help him by stealing food and medicines from home and so begins a very unlikely friendship. Since the death of his mother in a car accident - something he blames his stepdad for - he is desperately in need of friends. This friendship however has undertones of evil in it and danger like James cannot imagine.
This book has to be one of the darkest books I have read - but that doesn't count against it in any way. It has a paranormal element to it - possibly - but is very much about reality, friendship (no matter how unlikely) and grief. Grief seems to be a common theme in books of all ages lately and you would think they would repeat themselves but this book takes a look at another way that two people cope with their grief - and it only truly becomes apparent at the end of the book.
There is little to smile at in this book but none the less I found myself continuing to read and hoping against hope that the sun would come out and everyone would be happy and laughing. There are 'bad guys' to hiss at while you cheer James and Webster. With the end comes discovery where people learn who their friends really are.
An extremely enjoyable read despite the darkness. It requires a certain maturity, in my opinion, to cope with these issues and not be affected too deeply by them but I do feel that it would find that audience in the 13+ readers - and they will relish the action, the rebellion and the independence themes. And what young reader wouldn't want a friend like Webster?
Publisher - Simon & Schuster
Genre - Teens/YA, Paranormal, mystery
Buy The Dark Inside