Review Blog

Nov 29 2010

Mice by Gordon Reece

cover image

Allen and Unwin. 2010. ISBN 978 1742372338.
(Recommended) Shelley, a typical teenage girl is bullied at school. When things take a turn for the worst she winds up in hospital. After being discharged she is home schooled with private tutors in her new home, isolated in a remote area of the countryside. She lives with her mother and all their lives they have been like mice; hiding from trouble, never standing up for themselves. Until, Shelley's sixteenth birthday.
The plot of this book is not straight forward, it is so well formulated that it compels you to read on and never lets on to what is going to happen next. The plot is realistic and you could easily see how what happens could happen in real life. The characters are very real, as if you would expect to encounter someone like them in the course of your life. Shelley and her mum undergo a major change in their lives, as well as within themselves and grow to have the courage to face their fears.
The setting is outlined well and authentic in its detail. Set in England in the current era, Gordon Reece uses a style of writing that creates a great deal of imagery. When reading the book, it is as if you are watching movie. Written in the first person the reader has a great deal of empathy with Shelley and the predicament she finds herself in.
There are two themes to this book, firstly, bullying in school and how some schools hush up bullying or turn a blind eye so as not to tarnish the school's reputation. The second theme is more subtle. It is about sometimes things pile up inside until you can't take anymore, then you snap and are changed forever. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse, even a bit of both.
The book is aimed at older adolescents but because of the serious nature of the themes adults will be able to relate to it too. Girls and boys could read it but it is not for everyone. I would recommend it to those who can view a text without getting nightmares and can understand what happens to the characters in a somewhat mature manner. Those who like the descriptive writing style of Christine Feehan and the way she creates imagery would enjoy this book. I strongly recommend it and would rate it 9/10 stars.
Amelia Kelly (year 11)

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