by Hugh Brown
A first novel by an up and coming New Zealand author. It took me a while to settle in to this story, but once I did I wanted to know how it was going to work out. I think about a third of the way into the book it found it’s stride.
Will is a typical teenager, with all the worries and insecurities that come with the territory. He is not popular and finds refuge in the books he reads. He is in training for his first full-contact taekwondo fight. He lives with his paternal grandparents, his Mum left years ago and his Dad wasn’t coping with being a solo Dad. The grandparents are sympathetically and realistically written and their voice is caring and consistent.
He has some friends at school, who he has been reluctant to invite into his personal life, but when Conway the girl of his dreams, starts spending time with him and his friends, things start to change.
His Mum returns from Australia, but hasn’t been to visit him. His Grandfather ends up in hospital. He thinks Conway is dating the school bully who has taken a liking to picking on Will. This time escaping into a good book might not be a way out.
Set in New Zealand this story will appeal to students age 12+ and I would recommend to fans of Des Hunt.