Run, riot by Nikesh Shukla
Hachette, 2018. ISBN 9781444940688
(Age: Older teens and Young Adult) Recommended. An action-packed thriller novel that slowly builds to a crescendo of events that continually surprise the reader. "Run Riot" is a powerful novel for Young Adult audiences who enjoy reading about the reluctant everyday hero and who can relate to issues that affect many young people living on the fringes of society. This is a novel that explores how community is a valuable network which must be supported and defended by all members. Young high school students MC Taran and her twin brother Hari, no longer live their lives as an isolated family because they feel a connection to the people they share Firestone House with, they feel that they somehow belong and are part of something.
Unfortunate circumstances have forced Taran, Hari and their parents to move to the Housing Estate that is not in a desirable part of town and which has a negative reputation. They would rather live somewhere else. But, just as Taran was beginning to envisage a way out of poverty with the hope of recording something worthwhile, and Hari working towards University after school, tragedy happens and it is happening to them, their new friends, romantic friends, family and their community.
They and their 2 friends Jamal and Anna, are on the run from tough bad guys, the police and other powerful entities. They run but in doing so, they realise that they must stand up for themselves, each other and the occupants of flats at Firestone House - their community and neighbours. They must stand up to corporations who want to redevelop their 'Home' in order to house wealthy people in grand apartments and uncaringly destroy the lives of many people by doing so. All of this happens in just 24 hours.
The big issues of police brutality, gentrification, young people growing up, love and relationships and general helplessness of the less fortunate in society, are brilliantly highlighted in tense and adrenaline packed language and banter which resonates with young people.
About the Author - Nikesh Shukla.
Nikesh is a writer, writing for a literary Journal "The Good Journal", co-editor, writer of a short movie "Two Dosas", he has worked for the BBC and he is currently writing as a columnist for "Observer Magazine". Nikesh's writing has earned him recognition and a Best Novella at the Sabotage Awards. Nikesh has made his first attempt at writing for teenagers with this new novel "Run, Riot".