Wasted by Nicola Morgan
|Wasted by Nicola Morgan|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Fascinating book about chance and fate with an arresting double narrative, sympathetic characters, and some big questions. There's a very sweet love story too. Reommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 352||Date: May 2010|
|External links: Author's website|
Jess wants to study music. She's a wonderful singer. And so a chance encounter with Jack, who needs a singer for his band, is exactly the happenstance she'd hoped for. Even better that Jack is so charming and handsome and charismatic. And still better that he feels the same attraction to her. How lucky can a girl get? Jack believes in luck. In fact, he lives his life by it. He doesn't do a thing unless his coin says he can. Newly in love, Jess is slowly drawn into his game of chance. Although it worries her a little, she can't know that a time will come when the toss of a coin is the difference between life and death.
But we know. We see Jess and Jack from a lofty position. We know the outcomes of their various choices. We can even choose for them...
It's always quite exciting when something new by Nicola never-two-books-alike Morgan drops through your letterbox. You just don't know what you're going to get. She writes classical historical fiction, thrillers, funny books, sad books, but always good books. I have a huge amount of time for her. She's a wonderful writer who is totally in tune with her readers, even involving them in the actual creation of books from time to time. She social networks like a demon and is always ready with help and advice for readers and aspiring writer alike. She thinks a lot and she likes drawing her readers into her current preoccupations. So her books always feel like a two-way street.
And Wasted might just be her most interesting book yet. It's all about what ifs. What if a girl gets into a nightclub? What if the bouncer turns her away? What if a man gets a sleek silver car at the hire desk? What if it's a substandard red saloon? Left or right? Up or down? Yes or no? Do any of the infinite tiny decisions we make each day really affect our fates? Or is it luck? Fate? Predestination or free will? And what if we really did try to live by the toss of a coin as Jack does? Told with forks in the narrative - the heads stories and the tails stories - we can see very different ways that events may unfold.
This is a love story with a twist that'll make you think.
Talk about the ideas and themes in Wasted at Nicola's dedicated blog for the book. Like everything she does, it's value for money. If you wondered where she got the idea for that incredibly random pigeon scene in the book, well, it wasn't random at all. It actually happened - to her while she was writing the book!
My thanks to the good people at Walker for sending the book.
If you like the look of Wasted, you might also enjoy the equally leftfield Jacoby's Game by Alison Prince. Being by Kevin Brooks is more in the sci-fi line, but it has a fascinating look at free will versus determinism.
You can read more book reviews or buy Wasted by Nicola Morgan at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Wasted by Nicola Morgan at Amazon.com.
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