Welcome to Spotlight Saturday where every week I shine the spotlight on an Australian book I think needs to be read.
Today I will be shining the spotlight on All This Could End, the YA contemporary by Steph Bowe. And this is my first official review for the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2013.
What’s the craziest thing your mum has asked you to do?
Nina doesn’t have a conventional family. Her family robs banks—even she and her twelve-year-old brother Tom are in on the act now. Sophia, Nina’s mother, keeps chasing the thrill: ‘Anyway, their money’s insured!’ she says.
After yet another move and another new school, Nina is fed up and wants things to change. This time she’s made a friend she’s determined to keep: Spencer loves weird words and will talk to her about almost anything. His mother has just left home with a man who looks like a body-builder vampire, and his father and sister have stopped talking.
Spencer and Nina both need each other as their families fall apart, but Nina is on the run and doesn’t know if she will ever see Spencer again. Steph Bowe, author of Girl Saves Boy, once again explores the hearts and minds of teenagers in a novel full of drama, laughter and characters with strange and wonderful ways.
This is the second book by Steph Bowe that I have read, that just so happens to be her second book, and I can honestly say I am seriously impressed by her writing. This book was told from alternating POVs, Nina’s and Spencer’s, and I just loved Spencer. Bowe just has this way of capturing the male lead’s voice that is utterly captivating. When reading her books I find myself unable to put them down and have this compulsive need to keep reading, to see what’s going to happen.
Confession: I was not completely sold on this synopsis. I mean, robbing banks? Didn’t sound like a story I would like, but I adored Girl Saves Boy so I put this on my to-read list but it wasn’t a high priority. Then Text publishing had the chance to win it on twitter and I won (Thanks so much Text Publishing) and I am so glad I did because I really enjoyed this book and now I have complete faith in Steph Bowe in giving me a story I will love and be sucked into and not want to stop reading. And I can’t stress enough how great she is at writing boys.
I found Nina to be relatable and I think many readers will too, not because we know what’s it’s like to be in a family of criminals, but because Nina was suck in a family she didn’t like and was counting down the days until she was eighteen and therefore free and could escape, and that is something a lot of teens can relate too.
Spence was adorable and awkward and found it hard to talk to people, and what he and his family has to go through is heart breaking and had me on the verge of tears.
I was worried about the ending. I had no idea how she was going to do this without it being incredibly unrealistic, but she pulls it off, and it’s only flaw was it felt like it was cut too short and I wanted more, more, more.
This book had plenty of Nina, and plenty of Spence, but not a lot of Nina and Spence together, which I would of loved. I wanted this book to be twice the size. But that was the only flaw for me, otherwise brilliant.
All This Could End was sweet, sad, and sometimes funny. I highly recommend it to those who love YA contemporary. 4 out of 5 stars.
You can add it to your Goodreads here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16111373-all-this-could-end?ac=1