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Lies, loss and first love turned toxic - this exceptional novel-in-verse packs poignant punch
From the author of Black Heart Blue and Gloves Off - both LoveReading favourites - Wrecked is a breathtakingly affecting novel-in-verse that sees teenager Joe stand trial for causing a fatal car crash. Exploring thought-provoking themes around toxic relationships, self-preservation, truth and betrayal in an ultra-accessible, engagingly authentic style, this comes highly recommended for reluctant readers.
Framed within the context of Joe’s excruciatingly tense trial at which he pleads not guilty to a charge of causing death by reckless driving, his narrative slips back and forth through key moments in his life, most crucially how he got together with Imogen, his girlfriend of many years, who was with him when the crash happened. When the police arrived at the scene, Joe was said to be the driver.
“The truth is in hiding, it’s scared, it’s weak/ You see, I’ve been waiting so long for my chance to speak” - so goes Joe’s internal monologue before we hear evidence that tears his character apart. But someone is lying and, little by little, we learn more about Imogen, how she “lifted my shell and prodded deep underneath at flesh unprotected, she bit with sharp teeth - she stole chunks of my certainty.” Alongside the unfolding of past events and the present-day trial, additional devastation is unravelling in Joe’s family.
Wrecked is an exceptional addition to the canon of contemporary novels-in-verse for young adult readers (see also Punching the Air, The Poet X, Clap When You Land, Rebound, Black Flamingo, Gut Feelings and the work of Sarah Crossan), and mention must be made of the book’s layout too – words and letters stutter, tumble, slip and fall across and along the pages, stirringly reverberating Joe’s state of mind.
Joe and Imogen seem like the perfect couple - they've been in a relationship for years and are the envy of their friends at school. But after accidentally becoming involved a tragic fatal accident, they become embroiled in a situation out of their control, and Joe and Imogen's relationship becomes slowly unravelled until the truth is out there for all to see ...
Structured around a dramatic and tense court case, the reader becomes both judge and jury in a stunning and page-turning novel of uncovering secrets and lies - who can be believed?
'A profoundly moving story about truth and love' - Jenny Downham
'You'll be hard pressed to find a better verse, or YA novel doing the rounds. At times it read like a thriller, a tale of first/romantic love and loss; it is beautifully brutal as it is heartfelt and devastating ... the book evokes that sense of excitement, awkwardness and heartache of first love.' - Brian Conaghan
'The novel explores emotional abuse in relationships, but where the young man is the victim – a story rarely told. This is a tense and pacey read, and like Joe, the reader is swept along in the speed of the story and struggles to fully compute the magnitude of Joe’s experience.' - Hannah Sycamore, The Scotsman
'After reading Wrecked, I am the title. Ate it up in one gulp because I couldn't look away. Tragic, compelling, real, and beautifully written.' - Teri Terry
|Publication date:||3rd September 2020|
|Publisher:||Guppy Publishing Ltd|
|Suitable for:||13+ readers, YA readers|
|Genres:||Gritty Reads, Romance / Relationship Stories|
Louisa Reid has spent most of her life reading. And when she’s not doing that she’s writing stories, or imagining writing them at least. An English teacher, her favourite part of the job is sharing her love of reading and writing with her pupils. Louisa lives with her family in the north-west of England and is proud to call a place near Manchester home.More About Louisa Reid
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