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Black Rabbit Summer

Black Rabbit Summer; Kevin Brooks; Penguin 2008



Book Summary(taken from Amazon UK):
Pete Boland was busy doing nothing that summer. Long, stiflingly hot, lazy days stretched ahead of him. Then she called.
'Listen, Pete . . . you know that funfair, up at the recreation ground . . . I thought we could all meet up . . . You know, for old times' sake.'
But, where there are old times, there are old tensions. And as secrets, bitterness and jealousies resurface, five old friends are plunged into the worst night of their lives . . .

Literature for Lads review:
Kevin Brooks is a prolific writer of teenage literature and this novel will resonate with any teenager reading it.  It's tense, exciting, mysterious and will have you gripped from the very beginning.

Early on in the novel Brooks wonderfully captures the sights and sounds of the funfair which has arrived in the local town during the long hot summer.  You can almost taste the candy floss and hear the screams from the Waltzers as main character Pete Boland is invited to the funfair to catch up with some old friends.

The reunion between Pete and his old friends gives us the backdrop to the mystery which unfolds throughout the book. After a night of drugs, alcohol, sexual tension and the reliving of happy memories we discover local 'celebrity' Stella Ross has failed to return home that evening.

From this point in the novel Brooks masterfully weaves a classic whodunit story alongside the trials and tribulations of teenage life. The book is full of twists and turns which ensures we never quite know which direction we are headed in.

Brooks captures the the intensity and raw emotion of teenage relationships brilliantly.  No punches are pulled and teenage readers will appreciate the frankness, and at times rawness, with which Brooks brings his characters to life.

As the novel drew to a close I did feel Brooks was struggling to tie up all the many strands which he had weaved throughout the story. However we are left with lots to think about as we finish the last page and maybe that's what Brooks intended all along...

Marks out of 10: 7

Here is Kevin talking about the book and the writing process...