by Alan Gibbons
What is it about:
Eve's older sister, Rosie, was bright and alive and always loved being the centre of attention. Then one day, she is brutally murdered. Six months later, Eve meets Antony and discovers that he was there the night Rosie died and did nothing to help. Is there any way she can ever get past that?
Inspired by the Sophie Lancaster murder in 2007, which saw Sophie and her partner Rob viciously attacked in Stubbylee Park, Bacup, Lancashire because of the way they dressed. This is a hard-hitting real-life thriller about friendship, courage, loss, forgiveness and about our society and communities.
Thoughts on this subject and the book:
Just this once I will not tell you about this book myself, but let my owner do the talking:
I know a lot about being different. At high school I was labeled THE The Cure fan, as if that was all I was. Later in life I have often been called weird because of how I dressed or how I acted. One time I've been called Morticia Addams as an insult (that I took it as a compliment doesn't take away it was meant to be an insult).
These days I sometimes get asked if I'm a Goth. And even though I'm not, and everyone who knows even a little bit about Goths can see I'm not, I do sympathize with Goths, and I love a lot of Goth music. And yes: I dress mainly in black.
Still despite the occasional insult, the labeling, the being called weird or strange: I've never felt threatened or harassed by people for who and what I am. From stories I've heard from other alternative and Goth people I know I've been lucky. I know there's a lot of hate and prejudice towards Goths and other people who are different.
I even encounter it often in my reading. There's a lot of authors who write (YA) Paranormal or Urban Fantasy stories who feel the need to add digs at Goths in their books. From negative or insulting mentions to adding characters who dress like Goths, but aren't TRUE Goths as the author explains in length. It annoys me and makes me wonder why authors do this. Especially as I can only assume that Goths make up a large portion of the readers of Paranormal and Urban Fantasy books.
But I'm getting off track.
I picked up this book because this hate and prejudice towards Goths and other groups/people who are different confuses and scares me. It feels like this intolerance only seems to be growing. I was curious to how Gibbons would handle such a difficult subject.
And I can tell you this book is good.
It was a difficult story to read for me, because apart from the violence it hit very close to home. The way people don't act to not become a victim themselves, to keep their position save. The way they don't speak up. In this book it might have been about a murder, but how often is it that we see that people stay quiet about other important things as well?
This book also was very emotional. I will confess I cried a lot when reading it. This is a powerful story and I could only agree with everything Gibbons tries to tell us.
Still I wonder if this book will be read by those people who need to read it. I am afraid this book will only get picked up by people who already know how wrong prejudice and the hate that goes with it is.
We're a long way away from a more inclusive society. I can only hope we will see sense.
Why should you read it:
It's a powerful and emotional read.