The Radleys by Matt Haig
  

The Radleys

Written by Matt Haig

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Dripping in blood, this is a story of family secrets so terrible that they shouldn’t be uncovered...Rowan and Clara think they are ordinary teenagers. They live quietly with their ordinary Mum and Dad doing all the things that their friends do. But, the Radley parents are hiding a secret; they are abstaining vampires and, one day, their abstinence will fail. Rowan’s teenage anxieties and sense of being an outsider take on a whole new dimension in this insight story of adolescence with a difference.

This is the Young Adult version of the title. Click here for the original edition.

A message from the author:

"This is a story about growing up, first and foremost. About how we learn to come to terms with who we are, independent of the ideas our parents had for us. About how we decide our own identities. As well as what shapes those identities - who we choose to love, and hate, admire and fear. It is about how denying ourselves can sometimes be more dangerous than succumbing to tempation. This is the story I wanted to tell. I never set out to write a vampire story, but vampires were the obvious choice. After all, as family secrets go, you can't get much bigger than finding out you are actually a full-blown creature of the night. And hopefully it fits as a metaphor for teenage life. A life full of physical changes, forbidden cravings, and feelings of being an outsider. In that sense, we've probably all been vampires at some stage."

Synopsis

The Radleys by Matt Haig

Meet the Radleys: Peter, Helen and their teenage kids Clara and Rowan. An everyday family who live in a pretty English village and juggle dysfunctional lives. So far, so normal. Except, as Peter and Helen know (but the kids have yet to find out), the Radleys happen to be a family of abstaining vampires. When one night Clara finds herself driven to commit a bloodthirsty act of violence, her parents need to explain a few things: why is their skin is so sensitive to light, why do they all find garlic so repulsive, and why has Clara's recent decision to go vegan had quite such an effect on her behaviour...? But when mysterious Uncle Will swoops into the village, he unleashes a host of shadowy truths and dark secrets that threaten to destroy the Radleys and the world around them.

Reviews

'A refreshing alternative to much of the paranormal fodder out there.' The Bookseller

'Matt Haig takes an original and witty approach to the supernatural genre in this quirky young adult novel...Cleverly balancing light and dark notes, this coming-of -age story with a difference is a refreshing alternative to the vampire theme.' Booktrust

About the Author

Matt Haig

Matt Haig's writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Independent, and The Sydney Morning Herald. The Dead Fathers Club is his American debut but his second published novel following The Last Family in England (2004), a reworking of Henry IV, Part I from the point of view of a black Labrador named Prince.
Shadow Forest, his first book for children, was published in the UK in May 2007; and in the USA as Samuel Blink and the Forbidden Forest in June 2007.
His next book for "grown-ups will be The Possession of Mr Cave in May 2008, to be followed by a children's novel called The Runaway Troll.
He now lives in Leeds but grew up in Newark-on-Trent where he went to a school much like Philip's in The Dead Fathers Club.

Matt Haig winning blue peter awardOn 5 Mar 2009 Matt won the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award for Shadow Forest. When he won he said:

“To say I was shocked is an understatement. I was halfway through a book event at a school when suddenly I turned around and saw a Blue Peter camera crew burst in to hand me the award. I nearly hyperventilated! I was up against some very stiff competition so I couldn’t believe I’d won my category let alone the overall prize.”

Matt Haig on his teen novel, The Radleys:

"This is a story about growing up, first and foremost. About how we learn to come to terms with who we are, independent of the ideas our parents had for us. About how we decide our own identities. As well as what shapes those identities - who we choose to love, and hate, admire and fear. It is about how denying ourselves can sometimes be more dangerous than succumbing to tempation. This is the story I wanted to tell. I never set out to write a vampire story, but vampires were the obvious choice. After all, as family secrets go, you can't get much bigger than finding out you are actually a full-blown creature of the night. And hopefully it fits as a metaphor for teenage life. A life full of physical changes, forbidden cravings, and feelings of being an outsider. In that sense, we've probably all been vampires at some stage."

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Book Info

Format

Paperback
352 pages
Interest Age: From 14

Author

Matt Haig
More books by Matt Haig

Publisher

Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

5th July 2010

ISBN

9781406330281

Categories


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