Sunday, 17 June 2012

Cracks by Caroline Green **Review**

Cracks by Caroline Green
Series: None
Pages: 245
Publisher: Piccadilly Press
Release date: 30th March 2012
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones

Add it on Goodreads
Thanks to Piccadilly Press (via work) for my copy

Goodreads synopsis:
Who do you trust when you discover your whole life has been a lie?
Cal thinks he's losing his mind when cracks start appearing that no one else can see. But his life splinters apart when he discovers that, far from leading an ordinary life in a northern town in 2012 as he thought, he has spent his whole life so far in a deliberately induced coma. The year is actually 2024 and a repressive regime is in force: it plans to brainwash the whole population. Set free by the local resistance movement, he finds himself drawn into their struggle; and he gets involved with Kyla, a girl who lives on the streets. But are they all just using him: is there anyone he can really trust?
A nail-biting thriller that never lets the reader relax!
I originally heard of this book from another blogger, taking part in Wishlist Wednesday. I thought it sounded fairly interesting, and I added it to my wishlist shortly after reading their post. I didn't rush out to buy it straight away, obviously, but I am glad that it turned up at work for review, and that it was put aside for me.

I have to admit that I didn't quite know what to expect from Cracks - it wasn't one that immediately stood out to me - and the synopsis on the back of the copy that I have didn't give much away at all (it basically just says that Cal's life as he thought he knew it was a lie, and that he doesn't know who to trust), not like the synopsis on Goodreads. I suppose this was supposed to create a little more mystery and make the reader ask what happens in his life to make it like this, but for me, it didn't create enough questions for me to be entirely drawn in, just from that.

When I picked the book up and started reading though, I did find myself immediately gripped. We're thrown straight into the story, from the very first sentence; "The first crack is freaky". Straight away I'm asking questions; What is the crack? And why is it freaky? This first sentence, although short, did a much better job of hooking me, than the synopsis did. And this first sentence leads straight into drama and confusion (yep, more questions to be answered) - there's no ridiculously long build up to the story, introducing every character and their back-story - we're straight into action and what the novel is going to be about, learning about the characters as we go along. That is, without a doubt, the reason I didn't just put the book back on the shelves and pick something else up.

From the first sentence and first chapter, the story did continue to grip me - mostly. The written style was really easy to get along with, but then, I think that this book is intended for younger teens (the main character is 14, and it uses slightly less complex language etc). It was fast-paced, and not a single page was wasted throughout the entire story - everything you see on the page is going to take the story somewhere, rather than letting it stand still, while it goes into too much detail about how a particular house looked, or how the main character felt when they saw it. The story held its pace well. 

However, the story did get to a point where I honestly couldn't see the book coming to a proper conclusion. I think it was about 50 pages from the end, and things still seemed to be building up, rather than reaching a climax, and then coming to a conclusion in the final pages. I thought I could see the story going in one direction (and that direction would have been a fairly lame one), but fortunately, it took me entirely by surprise, and the ending was much, much better than I thought it would be.

I definitely think I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if it had gone into further detail about the futuristic world, and maybe lingered in one place just a
little more. I'd also have liked to learn a little more about Torch (the rebel group). But then, I guess if those details were there, it would be more of an older teen book, and I'm guessing that this is not the group that the book is aimed at.

As for the characters in the book, I didn't really feel as though I got to know many of them properly. It's a fairly short book, only around 240 pages, so apart from the protagonist, Cal, the rest of the characters entered and then left after a fairly short period of time - Cal just didn't spend enough time with each of them for me to feel as though I got to properly know them, and we only really had a slight sense of how to feel about them, through how Cal perceived them. There was, I guess, a slight exception to this, and that would be Tom, one of the Torch rebels. I think it was mostly the contrast between him and Cavendish, that caused me to like him though. So again, I think I would have liked a little more time with each character, and a little more detail about them.

Overall, I did enjoy this story. It was a fairly gripping read, and it didn't conform to what I expected to happen, which was good. The written style was fluent and easy to get on with, and so I was sucked into the story without much of a problem. However, I do feel that this book is for the younger end of the teenage market, and so it felt a little too juvenile, and didn't go into enough depth, for me to say that I was 'fairly entertained'. I would say that I liked this book, but it was nothing overly special.


Suzann said...

I have enjoyed reading your review. It sounds like a book that it worth looking out for. Thanks.

Tara said...

I hadn't heard of this one before, but it sounds interesting. Maybe I'll have to get it on my Kindle in the near future!

arzvi said...

Good review - will check it out.

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