This is one of Malorie Blackman’s shorter books. I’d only read her Noughts and Crossesseries and I thought they were fantastic- so I tried this one. It wasn’t bad. It was nowhere near Noughts and Crosses, though. The beginning, I warn you, was boring and clichéd- I was about ready to throw the book onto the floor and scream at the sky. That does change, though, and you soon find yourself in the middle of an incredible plot.
“What if you could change the past to save the future?
You’re the new girl in school. You’re just trying to fit in – and it’s not working.
Then someone accuses you of theft, and you think things can’t get any worse. Until you get caught in a freak storm.
The next thing you know, you’re in the future. Being shot at for being out after curfew. You don’t even recognize your hometown. And you’re heading for a confrontation from your worst nightmare.”
The blurb is certainly very draw-you-in, because it’s so utterly confusing. The book isn’t- it’s readable and reasonably paced. It’s gripping. It’s the story of Lydia Henson, who just moved with her family from bustling London to a small town. This is the clichéd bit- she’s struggling to fit in at school. There’s a group of “popular girls” at her new school, including her “new best friend” Fran, and she wants to join them- but the leader, also the “school bully”, says to join them Lydia has to steal the school sports cup and keep it in her locker overnight. Lydia backs out- but the cup is found in her locker the next day and she is accused of stealing it. This starts a whole load of trouble for her family, and her brother is the only kid she knows who is sticking up for her. Lydia is particularly upset by Fran’s reluctance to step in and defend her- and it gets so bad that their car is attacked, they get hate mail, etc.- not great for a new school.
And now the interesting part begins! In a freak storm, Lydia is somehow hurled into the future- she meets all sorts of people and sees that in the future, she has turned into a bitter, spiteful old hag and her brother has become the well known, much hated “Tyrant”.
I think this one is aimed at younger readers- I’d say, 9-12? It’s very readable, very gripping, and I read it just a few days ago- which is quite a bit above that age! – And I have to say, I enjoyed it. It’s a lot better than many “teen” novels I’ve read, and I genuinely grew to care about some of the characters, which I think shows how beautifully relatable the book is. One to read!
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