Dangerous to Know by Katy Moran
|Dangerous to Know by Katy Moran|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Intense first love affair running alongside a family crisis. Beautifully observed and finely nuanced, this is the kind of romantic teen novel Bookbag loves. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 224||Date: May 2011|
|External links: Author's website|
Jack and Bethany are in love. But Bethany's mother thinks Jack is a bad influence. He comes from a bad family - a broken home, one brother was a drug dealer, the other smoked too much dope and ended up sectioned - and he just isn't the sort of boy Bethany's mother wants her daughter to spend time with. It's not all snobbery though - Bethany's father is terminally ill and the family has too much on its plate to be thinking of first love affairs. Says Bethany's mother. But not Bethany.
So the pair defy their parents and head for the summer music festivals, regardless of the consequences. And the consequences come thick and fast - excruciating confrontations between the two sets of parents, groundings, and sneaking about in the middle of the night. And then Jack's brother disappears from the Peace Centre, his wealthy but distant father flies in from the States, and Bethany's father takes a turn for the worse...
I thought Dangerous to Know was an absolutely gorgeous book. It's beautifully observed and utterly sympathetic. I saw Jack and his friends as clearly as I see my own sons and theirs, with their bravado and stroppiness and minor rebellions, and also with their vulnerabilities and need for approval and love.
First love is such an overwhelming thing and Moran shows this wonderfully well. Reading from Jack's perspective, it's easy to forget that some of things he's doing are stupid and irresponsible - dangerous, even. You're as in love as he is and you can see how he interprets the behaviour of the adults around him as unfair and unreasonable, despite the crises they are facing. Everything is about Bethany. Just everything. And he'll do anything, sacrifice anything, to see her.
It's all very intense and completely unputdownable and I don't mind admitting that I cried at the end.
My thanks to the good people at Walker for sending the book.
You Against Me by Jenny Downham looks at first love against a background of the horrors of rape. Ruby Red by Linzi Glass puts first love amidst the turmoil of apartheid South Africa during the 1970s. Lucas by Kevin Brooks has the same bittersweet intensity and adds a tiny dose of spiritual fantasy into the mix.
You can read more book reviews or buy Dangerous to Know by Katy Moran at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Dangerous to Know by Katy Moran at Amazon.com.
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