Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Young Adult Fiction

NZ Writer
Fleur Beale
Speed Freak
Random House 2013   $19.99pb  240 pages
ISBN 978 1 7755 3470 9

Themes: Competition/ Fathers and sons/ Kart racing

Fifteen-year-old Archie is in the running for selection to drive his kart in Europe but before he can be considered there are many hurdles in his way. First there is Craig who is his main rival and who has a father with enough money to buy his son’s way into the Challenge. And then there is Silver, back in racing after a break but she is now stronger and more determined than ever. Life on the home front has its problems as well – Dad and his intense relationship with his girlfriend, Erica, irritates and worries Archie, particularly as she is totally anti-karting. Fleur Beale has managed to put herself inside the head of a fifteen-year-old boy and find his voice (I know because I have tried it out on a fifteen-year-old) so be prepared for some strong language and emotions.  I personally have no interest whatsoever in kart racing but such is the power of the story I found myself awake last night and reading until well past midnight to be totally involved and feel happy with such a satisfying ending.      

Year 9 up/ Age 13 up

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