Mike by Andrew Norriss
|Mike by Andrew Norriss
|Reviewer: Sophie Diamond
|Summary: A simply wonderful book which I will never forget.
|Date: January 2018
|Publisher: David Fickling Books
|External links: Author's website
Floyd is a rising teen tennis sensation. At only fifteen, he is set to become the youngest ever champion of the national under 18s, his tennis career is written in the stars. Until Mike shows up. At first, Floyd thinks Mike is just a weird kid following him around. Why else would he be at tennis practice in the school so early? But when he appears on the tennis court in the middle of the match, Floyd can't understand why everyone is acting so calm … until Floyd realises he is the only one who can see him. Floyd is referred to a specialist and together they unpick the mystery of Mike.
I loved this book. I dare you to pick it up and not finish it in one or two sittings. This is the type of story that doesn't come around very often and Norriss tells it with beautiful ease. You could call this a coming of age story. It's about a very talented boy who realises one day that he has choices and what wonderful and terrifying opportunities this throws up. It's meaningful without being too heavy, in fact the writing is weightless. It is effortless to keep turning the pages and race to the end. I was sad when it ended, I wanted it to go on and on but I can't complain, the structure was perfect.
The characters are well crafted, their feelings are palpable. The narrator, who stays closely to Floyd all the way through, is almost wry. There's a wonderful sense of amusement in the tone, and I think this is what keeps the energy quite light the whole way through. Even when Floyd is in his worst times, the narrator gives the reader the feeling that it will all be ok.
The most wonderful part of this book is the way it is structured to make things come together. That life is all about being in the right place at the right time and you shouldn't worry about where or when that is because the magic is that it finds you. Floyd's journey is wonderful. You watch as these opportunities take him by surprise and he, and Mike, half plot their course of action and half let it see where the wind takes them, content enough that they're on the right track.
This isn't a fantasy book or a fairy tale but there does feel like there's magic in it. Once a source of disquiet, Mike becomes Floyd's Jiminy Cricket, guiding him safely along the right path, confirming things Floyd already knows and even pointing some very important things out to him. This is a very special book, and one I would urge all ages to read. It's a book that carries and wonderful message, but I'll let you work out what it is for yourself.
Thank you to the Bookbag, the publisher and Andrew Norriss for my signed copy!
You can read more book reviews or buy Mike by Andrew Norriss at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Mike by Andrew Norriss at Amazon.com.
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