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Monday 27 August 2012

Another Life by Keren David [Review]

I need to firstly apologise as for some reason, Blogger only posted half the review. I also need to apologise for the gush-factor here. I just couldn't help it. Love the book that much!!!


Written by: Keren David.
Published by: Frances Lincoln.
Format: Paperback.
Released: 6th September 2012.
Rating: 5/5.

Official synopsis: "Kicked out of yet another boarding school, Archie couldn't be happier to find himself back in London with old friends and an exciting social life. 
But he's worried about his cousin Ty, who is facing a sentence in a Young Offender Institution and doesn't seem to be coping. 

And he's finding that his old friends have moved on and it's a struggle to keep up with their new lives. 
When he begins to learn surprising things about Ty, Archie goes on a mission to discover the truth about his cousin's past. But who is the real Ty? 
The thrilling follow-up to When I Was Joe and Almost True takes readers on a terrifying adventure through London's gangland.
First off, just let me say, Keren, you are amazing. Quite simply amazing. There. I've said it!

I'll admit, picking up Another Life there was some doubt in me. After When I Was Joe and the incredible Almost True, what could happen to Ty next? What really could happen? Where would he go? And would it be good? Answer. Yes. And it is oh so good! Another Life is, for want of a better word, incredible.  

Narrated, mainly, by Ty's cousin, Archie, Another Life begins with yet another dark turn in poor Ty's life. This guy just can't seem to catch a break. He's been sentenced to 12 weeks in a Young Offenders institution and isn't coping well. When he wants to keep his head down, keep a low profile and hope the weeks pass quickly, he sees a familiar face, one he certainly was hoping he'd never see again. And tragedy strikes again.

Just as with her previous books, you are kept right on the edge of your seat, precariously dangling into the abyss that is London's gangland. Ruthless and with Ty/Joe and now his cousin Archie in their sights, no one can be trusted. Nowhere is safe.

The writing as usual is world class. Absolute top notch. So beautifully written and woven together, your eyes really will be glued to the page, desperate to see where it'll all go next. More suspense than you can shake a stick at. What makes it all the more addictive, I suppose, is the fact that it's all real. This could actually happen. All of it. Every page. Albeit addictive it's highly terrifying, and I know for me this kept me reading. I'd get a knot in my stomach when certain events take place. Keren's writing is incredibly thought-provoking. I personally was always asking myself what I'd do in that situation. How would I react to this? How would I feel about that?

That's the true beauty of Keren's work. The reality and the ability to make you question yourself. And with this, seemingly, being the last time we'll see or hear anything of Ty/Joe and all of his equally mis-fortuned and suffering family, the book has a feeling of finality about it. Everything must come to an end, albeit one I'll admit I was not expecting... and one that had me in tears. Pure tears. But it was worth it. Another Life is a truly beautifully written, important and stunning book. It could stand alone from Keren's previous work and make her a legend as far as I'm concerned. Add it to her back catalogue and it's all the more amazing. 

Folks, even if this book doesn't sound like your cup of tea, or coffee if you're American, then please, I implore you, read it anyway! I'll be honest, when I received When I Was Joe two years ago I thought I'd really not enjoy it - it didn't sound like anything I'd ever want to read. Sounded scary, sounded far too real. But it's needed. These books are important. They teach a great message as well as keep you entertained. These books, as far as I am concerned, should be put in every single library, in every single school, be stocked in every single book store across the country, and beyond. They should be read by anyone. If not because the messages they speak, then because of their sheer wonder.

Keren, as I said at the start of this review, you rock! I cannot thank you enough for writing such amazing books!

My thanks go to Keren's publisher, Frances Lincoln, for the copy I received.


  1. Aww, thanks so much Ryan! Now I have tears in my eyes. Happy tears.

    1. My pleasure. It's me who needs to be thanking you! This book deserves to be massive. Your work deserves to be massive! It's just too good! :) I want to read it again now! Haha!