#BookReview for 2000 Tunes by Karl Drinkwater

Pink quill books pick_2020

My review for 2000 Tunes by Karl Drinkwater, 5/5 stars (would be more if I could!). It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information.)

Where do I start with this book? I’ve read most of Karl Drinkwater’s books and loved them all, but this one has to be my favourite so far.

It’s like taking a trip back in time, revisiting old friends and old haunts. I’ve never been to Manchester, but the way he pulls you into each setting, you feel like you’ve lived there yourself. The characters are so well written, so well developed, so realistic, that you feel as if you’re there with them, living their lives with them.

Sam and Mark are two completely different people, leading separate lives, the only thing in common is the place where they work. And the fact that they are two deeply vulnerable people, struggling to find their place in the world, despite everything that keeps knocking them down. We’re pulled into their lives right from the start, as Sam mourns the death of her grandmother, and Mark mourns the demise of The Hacienda, and walk beside them as their lives slowly entwine.

There are other characters, each adding extra depth and richness to the story: Emily, Sam’s vibrant, fun-loving friend with a heart of gold; Roger, the office creep (we’ve all known one of them!); Rene, the misunderstood boss who’s the butt of everyone’s jokes; and Ben and Dave, two colleagues who become Mark’s first real friends.

And there’s the music, which weaves itself around the threads of the story, evoking memories from those long-gone years. Even if you weren’t into the indie groups of the time, Mark’s passion (and the author’s) for his music gets into your soul.

The ending doesn’t disappoint either – not too long and dragged out, not so short it leaves you wanting more. It’s just perfect.

There are so many wonderful parts to this story, so many little scenes that keep popping into my head even after I’ve finished reading it, as if they’re my memories now, not something I read. It’s going to stay with me for a long time. Highly recommend!

Amazon US
Amazon UK

The Light in the Trees by Jeff Van Valer

My review for The Light in the Trees by Jeff Van Valer, 5/5 stars.

This is a great coming-of-age novel, full of pre-teenage angst and a wide variety of characters who you will probably recognise from your own childhood. Ted is suffering after the death of his mum, and sees his annual stay at summer camp as his dad’s way of getting rid of him. You can feel Ted’s self-doubt and pain as he prepares himself for a long, torturous summer.

The author has captured the behaviour of boys of this age perfectly, from when they give each other nicknames to Ted falling head over heels in love. The story develops slowly, allowing you time to soak up the atmosphere of White Birch Camp, and builds to a crashing crescendo where the horrific events of one night are gradually revealed as Ted remembers them.

This is a great read of boyhood friendships, crazy adventures, and falling in love for the first time, with great characters everyone can relate to, and is well written and well edited.

Amazon US
Amazon UK

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