Hailey's War by Jodi Compton

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Hailey's War by Jodi Compton

Buy Hailey's War by Jodi Compton at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: General Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Nicky Cole
Reviewed by Nicky Cole
Summary: Hailey Cain has certainly packed a lot into the first 23 years of her life and this makes for an involving, intriguing and at times slightly uncomfortable read. Well worth a look.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: May 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
ISBN: 978-1847373571

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At the beginning of the book, Hailey Cain is a 23 year old cycle courier living in San Francisco. The story then takes a step back in time and we discover that she had to leave West Point Military Academy during her final year, for reasons she prefers to keep to herself. I continued to read under the assumption that Hailey had done something which forced her to leave. Her next move is to L.A, where she spent the latter part of her childhood. During these years, her mother with whom she has, at best, a very strained relationship is no source of comfort and Hailey develops a very close attachment to her cousin CJ. Aspects of this relationship make for uncomfortable reading at times.

The story coasts along, introducing more characters and we then discover Hailey has had to leave LA, although again not the reason why. To be honest, my interest level had waned a little by now but at the end of chapter five, in one unexpected but short paragraph, we are given the reason. The abrupt way in which this information is imparted works brilliantly and my interest was instantly restored.

Hailey is close to Serena Delgadillo. On the surface they have very different lives but develop a strong connection. Serena is the leader of a street gang and the completely matter of fact way in which the gang members view violence and death verges on the nonchalant and makes for intriguing but uneasy reading. This was well done and showed how deeply these two issues are ingrained in the gang members lives, but without becoming overly graphic or gratuitous.

The mystery of why Hailey left West Point is a secret she appears determined to keep from everyone, no matter how close she is to them. It's not until the end of the book that it's explained

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, although I still can't decide how to feel about Hailey. I think she is a complicated rather than complex character but throughout the book there were times when I didn't know if I liked her. I'm still unsure about that but her story made for an enjoyable and interesting read.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

Further reading suggestion: Try Bleed For Me by Michael Robotham or for a real life portrayal and insight into life as a gang member, Gang Leader For A Day by Sudhir Venkatesh.

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Buy Hailey's War by Jodi Compton at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Hailey's War by Jodi Compton at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Hailey's War by Jodi Compton at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Hailey's War by Jodi Compton at Amazon.com.


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