Review Blog

Aug 31 2012

Cracks by Caroline Green

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Piccadilly Press, 2012. ISBN 9781848121683.
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended. Fourteen year old Cal is terrified when things around him start to crack - first the ceiling at school, then the whole of his home town seems to disintegrate in an apocalyptic disaster. Cal wants answers but is horrified to discover that what he believed to be the local young offenders' institution is actually a special hospital - a neurological unit run by the dangerous Dr Cavendish and that he, Cal is a patient there. The cracks that have appeared in his life are the reality of waking from a lengthy coma.
This is a high octane, futuristic thriller which catapults the reader into Cal's terrifying new existence. Set in the near future, Cal finds himself regaining consciousness in a place where CCTV rules, where fear of terrorism is promoted by a big-brother government and where he doesn't know who he can trust. The insights into this bleak world are completely believable because Caroline Green simply takes what is happening now and develops it. This plot device alone would make Cracks an excellent classroom read for 13 - 15 year olds, as there is plenty to think about and debate.
However, above all Cracks is a nail-biting road trip and tense psychological thriller as Cal tries to uncover the truth about his identity and family. Green's style is earthy and immediate with touches of humour that speak directly to young people. This book will have huge teen appeal for both boys and girls and I will be pointing it in the direction of my readers who enjoyed The Hunger Games.
Claire Larson

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