They were the Cat's Rrar reading group, run by the wonderful Cat Anderson, who works in the Edinburgh Children's Bookshop.
And actually, I'm going to give today's platform to them, because they interviewed me and the gist of it is over on the Cat's Rrar blog. So, all I'll do is thank them very much and also publish Douglas's incredibly perceptive and well-written review. You'll be amazed that he's only 16.
Do head over to the Cat's Rrar and add some comments to encourage the great readers in the group.
‘Wasted’ by Nicola MorganThe new and compelling novel ‘Wasted’, written by Scottish author Nicola Morgan, leaves little to be desired as it combines philosophical dilemmas and romantic wonder in the threatening backdrop of a teenager’s life. As if this isn’t enough there is the daring aspect of Jack’s game, where risk is taken and the consequences must be dealt with no matter what they may be.
Jess is an average teenager whose life is changed by a seemingly random event. She meets Jack. She attempts to cast aside her domestic troubles – a non-existent dad and a drunken lacklustre mum - by following her ambition of becoming a singer, so when Jack appears with his proposition she throws herself into a whirlwind; created by a slightly open door. So having joined a band and found a loving relationship, Jess appears to have luck on her side. But as is shown in Jack’s game luck can depend on the toss of a coin where infinite possibilities become when it lands heads or tails. So when vengeful girls and twists of fate arrive, on which side will Jess’ and Jack’s story land? At the end of the novel you flip the coin and decide.
This complex style of novel which mixes realistic action and thought-provoking ideas will challenge many readers whilst keeping them entertained and thrilled. The appealing storyline involves situations that many teenagers will be able to relate to, allowing for an attachment and understanding of the characters that inevitably creates more excitement and drama for the reader.
The intelligent and unique interaction that Morgan makes with the reader makes for a fascinating story which constantly holds attention. The philosophical debate; that is placed carefully into the plot before being subtly intertwined into the main themes of the novel, broadens the appeal and range of the book therefore making it recommendable to both teenagers and adults. The relevant issues dealt with in the story make it evocative and emotive whilst maintaining enough action to balance the novel and keep the reader compelled. All in all an intelligently crafted novel which will require thought and time but it is time that will not be regretted for this enjoyable read.
By Douglas McClintick, 16