2014 EVENTS:
Holly Bourne, Non Pratt and James Dawson - 30th October
Becca Fitzpatrick - 15th November

Thursday, 20 March 2014

REVIEW: The Bunker Diary - Kevin Brooks

Thursday, 20 March 2014

GENRE: YA/Thriller
PAGES: 272
PUBLISHER: Penguin Books
BUY IT: Waterstones
RATING: 5 Stars

Please not that this review refers to an unedited advance copy.


Room meets Lord of the Flies, The Bunker Diary is award-winning, young adult writer Kevin Brooks's pulse-pounding exploration of what happens when your worst nightmare comes true - and how will you survive?

I can't believe I fell for it. It was still dark when I woke up this morning. As soon as my eyes opened I knew where I was. A low-ceilinged rectangular building made entirely of whitewashed concrete. There are six little rooms along the main corridor. There are no windows. No doors. The lift is the only way in or out. What's he going to do to me? What am I going to do? If I'm right, the lift will come down in five minutes. It did. Only this time it wasn't empty...


The Bunker Diary appeared one day in my pigeonhole. I hadn't requested it, didn't know anything about it, and I've never read anything by Kevin Brooks before. Odd. They say that the right books find the right people in the end and if that's the case this book should find everybody. It is truly incredible. 

Linus is abducted and put in an old bunker, soon to be followed by 5 other people from completely different walks of life. No one knows why they're there but they're stuck. In each cell is a notebook, and the story is a transcribe of the day to day diary that Linus keeps. Linus is an incredible narrator. He is strong and humble and really likable. You will root for him against a faceless enemy. Its a cruel, horrible book in places. Its cold and nasty, but it will makes you understand how the human psyche reacts to these things. It will make you ask yourself how you would cope, what you would do. Would you give up and wait to die? Hope for rescue? Plan your escape? 

Kevin Brooks has created something incredibly special. He will play with your sympathies, make you feel claustrophobic even if you're reading this in the middle of a field, and probably terrify you too. The only limits he sticks to are the white concrete walls - psychologically he will make you experience everything. It's really hard to tell you the things I found so powerful about this because they lie in the events. Each one pushes you closer to madness and the end, dear God the end. For days afterwards - even now when I think about it - I couldn't quite believe how it ended. I can't even tell you why, I don't wanna give the impression of hope or hopelessness because you should really go in to this as blindly as possible. You need to experience these things with Linus. 

Since reading it, copies have spread around our staffroom like wildfire. Everyone has loved it and been affected by it. It will move you and force you to experience extremes of emotion: compassion, terror, confusion, greed, desperation, and even love to an extent. 

In a years time, when everyone has had chance to read this, I will write a spoiler-full post, more about what I thought about specifics event but until then it's over to you. Go and read it. You won't be disappointed. You won't be the same but you certainly won't be disappointed.

- Bex.

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