>Black Rabbit Summer

> If you are a fan of Kevin Brooks, you absolutely must read his newest offering, Black Rabbit Summer. Set in a working class area of London, Pete, Brook’s protagonist and narrator, is simply slumming his way through life. His lack of motivation and social life worries his parents. One night, when an ex-flame, Nic, calls, Pete vacilates between excitement and disinterest. You can tell, even before Brooks unveils it, that the two have a history. Nic is getting the gang together for one last night before she and her brother, Eric, move to Paris. Pete is reluctant, but ultimately decides to meet, but only if he can bring his friend, Raymond, a rather strange chap with a pet black rabbit. Nic, Eric, and a third friend, Pauly, are not crazy about Raymond coming along. The last reunion is the catalyst for a sequence of unfortunate events, allowing Brooks to keep the tension high and the questions coming.

At first, I was leery of the book’s girth (488 pages), afraid it would be just as unsatisfying as Brook’s Kissing the Rain. The book is anything but unsatisfying. Brooks weaves in a few startling and gritty subplots, characters to whom teens can relate, and just plain excellent writing that’s full of imagery. His writing has improved markedly since his first novel, Martyn Pig.

If you’ve been looking for Kevin Brooks to deliver something as satisfying as Candy, this book is worth the wait.

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