A grim secret. A life in danger. When a crazy old man leaps out of the bushes at Conrad on his way to swimming training, he gets the fright of his life. And when he discovers the man's granddaughter is that weird horse-riding girl from school, he decides to steer clear of them. But fate has other ideas ...and he is drawn into a grim secret. What's the old man's connection to a death from long ago? And whose life is in danger now ...
The book started with a bang, got me hooked and wondering what would happen and to who it was about to happen. It was easy to read but the topics aren't suitable for younger kids, would be a good way to introduce such topics to teenagers. I liked the way the characters interacted with each other, you could imagine being there and some parts made me laugh out loud but the ending was rather sad, I was expecting a death but not in the way it happened.
It has been a while since I have managed to read the whole book in one day, I normally go for longer books with a lot more involved story lines but glad I did read this one, makes a good change for me. I personally wouldn't read the book again but only because I have read it and know the story and being a bookworm I have heaps of books waiting to be read and am a regular at the library.
Well, this was quite a book! It was a good read and it had a nice context and it sounded like what happened in the sotry could easily happen in the real world! I could tell that this novel is based in New Zealand, just because of the fact that there were a couple of place names that sounded Maori, and I am especially a fan of movies and books that are based in my home country. The book didn't have the same quantity of action that I usually find in most of the books I request for review these days, but this novel wasn't a bad one!
The storyline started off quite good, and the author took no time in delaying the "spark" moment, the one moment that starts the best part of a book, usually the section where mysteries are found, unravelled, and solved. In this book, that moment came quite early, when the old man leaped out at Conrad from the bushes. From that point on, the story got more and more interesting, and before long I became addicted, I was determined to keep my nose buried in this book for as long as I could until it was finished!
The book had quite a sad ending, I'll admit that, but when the entire book is taken into consideration, this thing deserved a 10/10 on the rereadability aspect. The price is good, It is about the same price as most fiction novels sold these days, or at least ones with about the same thickness as this one! I didn't lose track of time, while I was reading this, time seemed to go at it's regular pace, so I'm afraid I can't give a high score on that aspect. Overall, I'd say that this is a great book for young adults, though I do discourage it being read by children younger than 12, as this book contains some mildly bad language.
I hope you have fun reading, enjoy!
Conrad is just in his teens and is beginning to notice how girls are filling out their jeans and that they aren't just annoying but maybe something more. He is a good swimmer and has hopes of making the Nationals. He is a disciplined boy, trains every day and has good relationships with his family and friends.
Conrad is on his way to the Aquatics Centre nice and early in the morning when out of the dark and the trees comes running a wild eyed old man who screams at him that he is sorry before Conrad runs off. When he discovers that the man is the grandfather of the strange new girl at school he decides to stay away from the two but it doesn't happen that easily.
A well written book and so very easy to get into the mind of young Conrad and imagine him and his mates (and those who aren't) acting as he describes them. The dynamics within his family and of course between those he interacts regularly with is very well written, easy to follow and to believe.
I wouldn't call this a light read considering the topics covered in this book, there is death and mental health issues in this book, but it is written so well that is doesn't take long to read and the speediness of the read doesn't detract from anything brought up in the book. David Hill has a skill to be able to make a story about the most ordinary of circumstances and write it well. His understanding of early teen relationships shows through well in this book and that of Alzheimer's disease makes this story special.
In a way I think it's a shame this is a once off book for these characters as I did rather like Conrad and Bex, but it does really well being what it is and it is going to do the rounds in my family for sure.
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"A torn jacket is soon mended; but hard words bruise the heart of a child."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882)