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Monday 21 June 2010

The Radleys [Review]

Written by: Matt Haig.
Published by: Cannongate (Adult ed.), Walker Books UK (YA ed.)
Format: Paperback.
Released: 1st July 2010.
Rating: 4.5/5

Official synopsis: "Meet the Radleys . Peter, Helen and their teenage children, Clara and Rowan, live in an English town. They are an everyday family, averagely dysfunctional, averagely content. But as their children have yet to find out, the Radleys have a devastating secret. From one of Britain’s finest young novelists comes a razor-sharp unpicking of adulthood and family life. In this moving, thrilling and extraordinary portrait of one unusual family, The Radleys asks what we grow into when we grow up, and explores what we gain – and lose – when we deny our appetites.

You know when you read a book that is so insanely good you just do not want it to end? Well The Radleys is one of these books! Right from the start it's engaging, hugely entertaining. With some bits that make you roar with laughter (well I did anyway!) and bits where you have to stifle and gasp and read faster.

Peter and Helen have kept the fact that they are vampire well hidden from their two teenage children, Clara and Rowan. They just believe that they are freaks. School is a nightmare, particularly for Rowan, who is mocked on a daily basis. Their blindness to the fact that they are vampires often brings about some highly comical situations. Enter roaring laughter.

One thing that I loved about this book, is that it is very very different to other vampire novels. The way it's written. The way it's laid out in particular is fantastic. Each chapter ranges from about half a page to 3 or 4 pages. This is a plus because it's easy to break off, but still come back to the story without any confusion. And the extracts from "The Abstainer's Handbook" are brilliant. The vampires in this book are also your traditional vampires. Pale skinned. NO SPARKLING! And fangs. Proper vampires!

I don't want to give too much away if I am honest, because I think that everyone needs to enjoy this book as much as they can. It is so fun, so refreshing. Definitely one of the best books I have read this year so far!

Thank you to Walker Books for sending me the copy to review! A very happy reader right here. And thank you Matt Haig for writing such a corker of a book!


  1. Like you, I liked the fact that this was not about sparkly, vampires but ones that drink blood and have real fangs. I read the adult copy but I do love the YA cover. Great book.

  2. Sounds great and I LOVE the cover:)

  3. Brilliant review Ryan! This book sounds amazing, I'd really like to give it a go sometime! Thanks for the great review!

  4. I'm glad you enjoyed the book so much! I have to admit I was slightly split on it ( Good fun, but I'm not sure it's all that great.