A Brighter Fear by Kerry Drewery

A Brighter Fear

Written by Kerry Drewery

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Shortlisted for the 2013 Leeds Book Award - June 2012 Debut of the Month. Debut novelist Kerry Drewery skilfully and sensitively brings the devastating effect of the war on ordinary citizens vividly to life in this tragic, touching and romantic story set in Iraq. Knowing that the bombing of Baghdad is about to begin, Lina’s father makes plans to protect her and to provide for her when things get better. But even he cannot protect Lina and, when everything goes wrong, Lina has to make decisions on her own. Her only hope comes from the soldiers whose very existence she should most hate. Can she really be falling for one of them? Who should Lina rely on and how will she discover what happened to her brave and talented mother?

A review by Katy Poulter A Brighter Fear is not the sort of book that I would usually read as it looked girly and uninteresting but it wasn't like the cover at all. It was almost like Romeo and Juliet, two people who love each other but can never be seen together. It wasn't my kind of book but it wasn't too bad. It took a while to get into it but I got into the flow and I felt sorry for Lina and I argued with her aunt in my head about her decision to stop her going to university. I would have liked to see more of Steve and him not to suddenly be expelled from the story when Lina needed him most. I really got to know what it is like in the middle of the war from this book, not just the facts like from a non-fiction book but the way it feels and the dilemmas it brings, problems you would never have had to face if you weren't in the middle of a war. For me, not enough happened for it to be a prize winning book hence the 3 out of 5. I would neither highly recommend nor dismiss this book to someone that asked, as the plot didn't have enough in it for me.

Katy Poulter is a member of the Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel but she has reviewed this novel in the first instance for the Leeds Book Award as it is one of the 2013 shortlisted titles. The organisers have kindly agreed to let us also make use of Katy's review.


A Brighter Fear by Kerry Drewery

This is the story of Lina, a teenage girl from Baghdad. It starts in 2003, as the bombs begin to fall on the city. In it, Lina fights to survive, to find a life for herself amid the chaos of war, to find what happened to her mother in the years before the war, when she was taken away by the secret police. She also falls in love, with the one person she should never have fallen in love with. It is many things. It is a love story, both for a country and for a person. It is about an amazing girl, growing up in the worst circumstances imaginable. It contains a necklace, that was lost but might still be found. And that is all we can say, without ruining this extraordinary and beautiful modern fairy tale!


'This is a moving and ultimately uplifting story which provides teenagers with an insight into the human tragedies behind the headlines.. Recommended reading. Families rating 4/6' - Families South West

About the Author

Kerry Drewery

Kerry Drewery has always had a passion for writing. She was a finalist in a BBC script-writing competition in 2009 and is currently hugely involved with Bookstart. Kerry lives in Lincolnshire with her husband and children.

The story of A Brighter Fear was created through Kerry’s own fascination with the Iraq war. Kerry’s sensitive approach creates a beautiful, contemporary fairytale that will stay with teen readers for a lifetime.

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Book Info


320 pages
Interest Age: From 13 to 16 years


Kerry Drewery
More books by Kerry Drewery


HarperCollins Children's Books an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Publication date

7th June 2012




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