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

Monday, 14 April 2014

GUEST REVIEW: Split Second - Sophie McKenzie

Monday, 14 April 2014
This review has been written for us by one of our customers and we're very grateful! If you want to be involved please email us at 

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PAGES: 368
PUBLISHER: Simon and Schuster
FORMAT: Hardback
BUY IT: Waterstones
RATING: 4 Stars

Bound together by the devastating consequences of a terrorist attack on a London market, teenagers Charlotte (Charlie) and Nat appear at first to have much in common. But, as Charlie gets closer to Nat and his family, she begins to wonder if perhaps he knows more about the attack than he has let on. Split Second is an action-packed thriller that shifts between the perspectives of its two main characters as their courage and their loyalties are tested to the limit.

When I first read this book’s summary, although very intriguing, I wasn’t sure whether I would enjoy it- the word ‘terrorist’ does have quite an effect on me, since people who follow my religion are often labelled so. But from the first sentence I was instantly pulled in, and I could not stop reading it. I was glad that McKenzie has used the word terrorist correctly, labelling people who actually inflict violence with the word, rather than calling every person with a scarf on their head or a beard so.

Split Second is set in London in the near future where current issues, like unemployment and budget cuts, are cleverly explored and made me wonder whether the same concepts would actually happen if it was to happen in our society; whether politicians would take the same route as one of the characters in the book in order to gain power, lie and use the peoples weaknesses for their own good.

The book alternates between two protagonists’ point of view, Charlie and Nat; who, due to an event that had occurred early on in the book, both suffered from a terrible loss, which caused them to get involved with a secret organisation in order to seek revenge. Having a similar goal, Nat and Charlie find themselves growing closer together, but even though there is a certain romantic aspect to the book, I was glad that McKenzie did not put too much emphasis on it, and rather focused on issues that are widely witnessed in today’s society. 

The racist and discriminative words that some of the characters used seem farfetched, but they are not far from the truth. The book really touched me, having many Pakistani friends and seeing how racist some people could be, made me feel very overprotective and ignited my hate towards them. It is quite terrifying, wondering whether people would turn against other human beings just to regain the supposed power and glory of their country. 

All in all, the book was very enjoyable and very insightful. The characters were easily relatable, and the alternating views really worked and made the story all the more interesting. A fast paced novel that makes you worry about the power politicians hold over us and puts emphasis on the idea that no one can be trusted. The sequel, which I am very much looking forward to, will be published this year and will be entitled ‘Every second counts’.

- Maryam.


  1. I love this review. I think it's thoroughly written and I would love to read more reviews from Maryam. I'd go out and buy the book right this second if I wasn't so skint!

  2. This review litteraly just made me want to read the book!

  3. We really love it too! Don't forget to share it on Twitter :)


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