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

Friday, 4 April 2014

REVIEW: Tape - Steven Camden

Friday, 4 April 2014

GENRE: Contemporary
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins Children's Books
FORMAT: Hardback
BUY ITWaterstones
RATING: 5 Stars

This review refers to an uncorrected advance edition.

TAPE is the outstanding teen debut of 2014. Told with crackling prose, shimmering with humour and deeply moving, it will haunt anyone who reads it...Record a voice and it lasts forever...In 1993, Ryan records a diary on an old tape. He talks about his mother's death, about his dreams, about his love for a new girl at school who doesn't even know he exists. In 2013, Ameliah moves in with her grandmother after her parents die. There, she finds a tape in the spare room. A tape with a boy's voice on it - a voice she can't quite hear, but which seems to be speaking to her. Ryan and Ameliah are connected by more than just a tape. This is their story.

I really enjoyed this book; the plot was intriguing and wonderfully written, and the way the two narratives weaved the past and present together was fantastic. Both Ryan and Ameliah's narrations were distinct and vivid - Steven Camden's work as a spoken word artist was evident is how strongly his characters shone through from the page. Ryan's story evoked a real sense of 90's nostalgia which made me smile throughout, and Ameliah's sections made me laugh constantly. I guessed what would happen quite early on but that didn't make me love it any less. I'm really excited to see what he comes up with next!

- Gem.

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