Thursday 8 July 2010

Review and Giveaway: iBoy by Kevin Brooks

For review: Puffin. Published 1 July 2010
From Goodreads: Before the attack, sixteen-year-old Tom Harvey was just an ordinary boy. But now fragments of a shattered iPhone are embedded in his brain and it's having an extraordinary effect...Because now Tom has powers - the ability to know and see more than he could ever imagine. And with incredible power comes knowledge - and a choice. Seek revenge on the violent gangs that rule his estate and assaulted his friend Lucy, or keep quiet? Tom has control when everything else is out of control. But it's a dangerous price to pay. And the consequences are terrifying.

This was my first book by Kevin Brooks and I am so glad I read it.

I was initially attracted to this book because of its premise. I was really intrigued about iBoy and what his ‘powers’ would be and how he would use them. What I wasn’t expecting was the dark and gritty back drop for this premise. For me, it was the high point of the book.

I found myself completely engrossed in the world depicted – life on a London tower block estate ruled by gangs and fear. The idea that someone can be attacked in their own home and can’t do anything about it – and know that nothing will ever be done about it – is scary. But the realisation that for some it is a reality –it is really terrifying. I think you need to be prepared for how dark this story is. It feels wrong to say I am surprised it’s a teenage title – but it does touch on some very adult themes.

I loved all the main characters. Tom was a typical, kind of nerdy boy finding himself in a very unique situation. Lucy was really sweet and I really felt for her. I loved Tom’s Nan – the way she got rid of the policemen in the hospital had me laughing out loud just because of how much attitude she had.

As for iBoy – I thought it was such a great idea. I could have done without all the technical information but I think others will love it – and I loved the struggle inside of Tom. How it made him unsure of who he was and whether he thought ‘iBoy’ was doing the right thing. I spent most of the book thinking of the line from Spiderman (or possibly Superman?) - ‘With great power comes great responsibility’ – and I thought this book really touches on that. It raises the question of what to do with power if we have it. Should we fight violence with violence? Should we become vigilantes if we feel the authorities are not there to protect us? Interesting material that I wasn’t expecting but I really enjoyed.

I also liked how the book ended – there is scope there for another book - but it is a self contained story. It was also very exciting and I really wasn’t sure what was going to happen.

On the basis of reading this I bought 2 more books by Kevin Brooks. I love his writing style – it feels original and very ‘real’ – I just love it and can’t wait to read more.

Sound good? The lovely team at Puffin have offered a book to one lucky winner. All you need to do is fill in the form below. Good Luck:)

Contest Rules:
UK only
Deadline - Thursday 15th July
You don't need to be a follower of my blog to enter.

This contest is now closed.


So Many Books, So Little Time said...

I love Kevin Brooks' books. My favourite is Lucas. Which two did you get?

Tales of Whimsy said...

Great review! I hadn't heard of this one. I love the concept though. Very modern and current. I dig.

Unknown said...

Wow, great review. I haven't read any Kevin Brooks. I keep thinking that I should. Now Sophie said Lucas is her fav maybe I will buy that. I certainly love your thoughts on the Spidy-factor. Hell, I may just *have* to buy this. You know - or I hope you do - that I have a bit of a thing for Spiderman LOL

Lauren said...

Excellent review! Definitely food for thought. I know what you mean about YA books with adult themes too. I guess the reality is that some teens' lives have adult themes, which is shocking to think about for those of us who were relatively protected.

I Want To Read That said...

Sophie - I bought 'Being' and 'Martyn Pig':)

Juju - Yes - it really did have a really modern feel to it!

Becky - No! I did not know of this thing for spiderman! What about Alex?

Lauren - thanks and I think you are right. Some teens don't get to be 'teens' so to speak! Shocking and sad.

Michelle Fluttering Butterflies said...

I hope I haven't already entered your giveaway.. Love to win though. Have only read one book by Kevin Brooks but I really loved it!

zoe cox said...

I love KB but i have found his books get very 'samey' the two you bought are my least favouret. Lucus was my 1st love becuase KB writes famale protagonists so well.


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