Friday, February 26, 2010

Dawn by Kevin Brooks

Dawn is fifteen years old. She loves music, especially the Jesus and Mary Chain. She loves her two dog, Jesus and Mary. And right now, she wants to kill God. That is her resolution for the new year.

Right now, Dawn lives with her mother. After hoping for his demons to disappear but they never did, her father disappeared from their lives. Now, it’s Dawn who takes care of her mother, making sure she doesn’t burn the house down when she gets drunk and passes with with a cig in her hand; helping to try to keep track of days lost in her mother’s self-induced haze; doing to cleaning and shopping for the house.

Dawn doesn’t have any friends, except the neighbor boy Splodge, who watches everything from his doorstep. She definitely isn’t in the same group as Taylor and Mel, the popular goddesses at school.

“My name is Dawn.
I’m thirteen years old
My name is Dawn.
I don’t want to think about it.
But every day it hurts more and more and the cave in my
head gets smaller and smaller and the cave in my head gets
darker and darker and the cave in my head gets colder and colder
and if I don’t get out of it soon, I think this cave is going to
kill me.”

She lives in her own tight-knit world, where she can control the safety, and who is allowed in is up to her. Until one night, when Taylor and Mel unexpectedly show up and turn Dawn’s world upside down.

Inside Dawn’s self-imposed inner kingdom, she holds secrets. Secrets about her father…secrets about herself…and the secret about the duffel bag full of money in her house. Who is it really from and why is it here? That’s the conundrum, and one fateful night, when Taylor and Mel come over, some of the secrets pour out of Dawn as the popular girls pour alcohol into her…and that safe world Dawn has created begins to crumble.

Kevin Brooks takes you on a tour de force YA thriller ride when secrets begin to reveal themselves slowly and deliberately. But what makes this such a great novel is that he pairs those secrets with the emotional pain of a teen in a topic that is slowly coming to the surface in many of today’s YA novels. This was published in December of last year, so it’s a relatively new book and worth putting on your shelves. Excellent for high school and those that stuff their minds and voraciously read all of Brooks’s novels. Recommended.

No comments: