Monday, August 6, 2012

Review: The Boy Who Made it Rain by Brian Conaghan


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:


Suitable for age 16+
When a school tragedy happens, you may lay the blame on society, the Internet, TV or violent films. Not many of you think it could be the parents' or teachers' fault, do you? But then, is it? We have our say, spout off opinions in different directions according to our view of the world. In this novel, too, they all have their say, but who's right?
At only sixteen Clem's world is turned upside down. His Willy-Loman-like father, a travelling salesman and a loser, is transferred from Eastbourne to Glasgow and along with him go Clem and his meek accommodating mother. But Glasgow is rough and Clem's posh English accent is not well-accepted in the sink school he attends. And he's a brilliant scholar. He soon becomes the target for McEvoy's group of thugs for whom slashing faces is the most important ambition in their depraved lives. When a school tragedy happens, you probably lay the blame on society, the Internet, TV or violent films. Not many of you think it could be the parents' or the teachers' fault, do you? But then, is it? We all have our say, spout off opinions in different directions according to our view of the world. In this novel, too, they all have their say, but who's right?
Author biography
Brian Conaghan was born and raised in the Scottish town of Coatbridge. He is a graduate of Glasgow University, where he received, among other qualifications, a Master of Letters in Creative Writing. After living and working in Italy for five years he now teaches English in a Dublin Secondary School.


MY TAKE:

There are plenty of books about bullying and what happens to the kids who are bullied, but I haven't read anything like this book before.

The Boy Who Made It Rain is the story of Clem, a new student in Glasgow who was bullied by some kids. The book is told in two parts. The first part is told by other characters while the second part is just from Clem's point-of-view.

I liked the book's style. It's almost like watching a documentary or time capsule videos. The characters sound very authentic. I had a hard time reading through the chapters that were told with a Scottish accent. If it had been in a movie or show, I think it would have been easier for me to understand the words.

The younger characters felt a little more real than the adult characters, though. The older characters felt just a little bit cliche and clinical. The teenagers, however, were brash and crude and authentic.

I had a feeling what the ending would be, but I didn't get a full picture until the last chapter. The title only makes sense in the last chapter, and at that point, the prose became sort of rambling and poetic and a lot like Clem was losing his mind. I didn't particularly like the ending as I didn't feel it to be completely believable, but the book overall was pretty good.

Thanks to NetGalley and Sparkling Books for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. The style is inventive.
  2. The voices of the characters are mostly authentic.
  3. Clem is a little bit different from most of the bullied characters you read about.

THE BAD:

  1. The catalyst to the ending didn't feel like enough to me.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
They were my favourites at that time. Not now. I still like them and all, but you know what young peopole are like.
READ IT IF:

  1. You like interesting narrative styles.
  2. You are looking for books that talk about bullying.
  3. You are looking for books on tough subjects.

RATING: 
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