2011 is nearly over, so we thought we’d ask some library staff what their favourite books of the year were. Here are the first reviews of an interesting, ecclectic bunch!
Naked, Kevin Brooks
London 1976, during the height of IRA bombings and the emergence of the punk scene, teenagers Lili and Curtis are living their dream by playing in their punk band called ‘Naked’.
William Bonney, a Belfast boy joins the band as guitarist and Lili is immediately drawn to him. She finds herself caught up in his Irish past which inevitably follows him to London. This is a characteristically gripping novel from Kevin Brooks.
Out of Shadows, Jason Wallace
This is the story of Robert Jacklin a thirteen year old boy who arrives from England to Zimbabwe at the end of the civil war – Robert Mugabe has just taken over as president. Robert is sent to a very traditional boy’s boarding school where bullying is rife and he quickly learns that instead of remaining friends with one of the school’s few black students it is in his interests to be loyal to the white elite. Over his five years at the school he turns into a thug’s accessory and chooses to ignore his own morals.
The story turns into a fast paced thriller as Robert’s mentor becomes more and more focused on achieving what he think is right.
Author, Jason Wallace grew up in post revolutionary Zimbabwe so the portrayal of the boarding school and political climate is very real. While in many ways it left me feeling shocked it was a very powerful novel.