Tiger Moth by Suzi Moore

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Tiger Moth by Suzi Moore

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Buy Tiger Moth by Suzi Moore at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Nigethan Sathiyalingam
Reviewed by Nigethan Sathiyalingam
Summary: At times it feels like Tiger Moth is trying to do too much, but it does explore difficult issues through believable characters with warmth and honesty.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 256 Date: August 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9780857075109

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Both Alice and Zack have had idyllic childhoods with wonderful homes and loving parents. However, out of the blue, they find their lives turned upside down. When Zack's dad dies, he is forced to leave his luxurious home and all his friends for a tiny cottage by the sea with his mum. With the grief at his loss still very much raw, he struggles to deal with the added difficulties that this move brings. Meanwhile, for Alice it is the arrival of a new life, namely a new baby sister, which has left her reeling. Fearing rejection from her adoptive parents in favour of a child of their own, she finds herself overwhelmed by a whirl of emotions too complicated for her to express in words, words that abandon her altogether as she loses her ability to speak. When the two tweens meet at a beautiful, secret beach, they not only find a place where they can get away from their angst, but also a friend with whom they can share their troubles and talk about the things that their parents simply don't get.

My main issue with Tiger Moth was that it aims to achieve a lot of things within a relatively short story and ended up failing to live up to its potential in any of these categories, leading to it feeling a little directionless overall. There was a lot of potential in the tale of the nascent friendship between Alice and Zack, but it wasn't given nearly enough time to develop in a satisfying way. Furthermore, the tragic backstory of the beach is built up in a suspenseful way, but it was not only far too easy to work out, but also failed to really add to the present story in a meaningful fashion. Finally, while there was definite development in both Alice and Zack's characters, aided by the companionship they discover on the beach, their character arcs lacked the redemption at the conclusion that would've made them really rewarding to read.

Nonetheless, the writing exudes an honesty and innocence that is genuinely heart-warming to read. While neither Alice nor Zack are particularly distinctive characters, they are both drawn out well through an expressive alternating narrative, and the parental figures bring understanding and warmth to the story. Both of their emotional troubles are explored in detail through their nicely realised voices, and both Alice's fear and jealousy, and Zack's anger and grief, feel believable, understandable and relatable to younger readers.

While Tiger Moth doesn't offer the quality of adolescent kitchen sink drama that authors like Jacqueline Wilson have turned into an art, it is still a story that is worth checking out for the warmth with which it explores difficult issues through realistic young characters.

Thank you to the publishers for sending a copy to TheBookbag.

My Sister Jodie by the aforementioned Jacqueline Wilson is recommended for young teens looking for kitchen sink dramas with strong emotional engagement. Ethan's Voice by Rachel Carter is another sweet story about friendship, also featuring an unspeaking protagonist. Finally, The Summer of Telling Tales by Laura Summers comes very highly recommended for younger teens and was one of my favourite books of 2013.

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Buy Tiger Moth by Suzi Moore at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Tiger Moth by Suzi Moore at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Tiger Moth by Suzi Moore at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Tiger Moth by Suzi Moore at Amazon.com.

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