Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Everyone says that Caro is bad . . . but Jamie can't help himself. He thinks of her night and day and can't believe that she wants to be his girlfriend. Gorgeous, impulsive and unconventional, she is totally different to all teh other girls he knows. His sister, Martha, hates her. Jamie doesn't know why, but there's no way he's going to take any notice of her warnings to stay away from Caro.
But as Jamie falls deeper and deeper under her spell, he realises there is more to Caro - much more. There are times when she disappears and doesn't get in tough, the small scars on her wrists, her talk about revolutions and taking action, not to mention the rumours he hears about the other man in her life. And then always in teh background tehre is Rob, Jamie's older brother, back from Afghanistan and traumatised after having his leg smashed to bits there. Jamie wants to help him, but Rob seems to be living in a world of his own and is increasingly difficult to reach. With Caro, the summer should have been perfect . . . but that isn't how things work out in real life, and Jamie is going to find out the hard way. This taut psychological drama is the brilliant new novel from acclaimed Celia Rees.
A big thanks to Bloomsbury for sending me a review copy of this book!
I admit, when I first got this book in the mail from the publishers, I didn't really know what to expect from it. After all, I haven't heard of this book before until I received it and it's not what I would usually read in a young adult novel. But in any case, I still thoroughly enjoyed the book and it offered an intriguing and yet a very heart-aching storyline for all readers to love.
THIS IS NOT FORGIVENESS deals with a very tough and a very touchy subject matter that plays a dominant role of today's society. That subject being of war. Throughout the storyline, the author, Celia Rees, discusses the many issues of war including how the soldiers returning from combat have to learn and adapt back to their true reality, while also trying to deal with the life-long effects that they have experienced during the war. While this subject matter may be uncomfortable for some readers, but I found this matter was addressed quite successfully with real feeling and emotion adding to it, and I liked the way Rees has written it as well.
For our main characters, the story is told through three different narratives. The first one is told through a boy named Jamie, whom I suppose was the central character of the storyline and whom was someone I had immediately liked right from the very beginning. The second one was told through Jamie's older brother, a young man named Rob, whom had recently returned from the war at Afghanistan. And the third and final narrative was lastly told through a girl named Caro, whom was an interesting character and she offered quite a different take to the storyline, but with her . . . it took me quite some time to like and eventually warm up to her. While I don't mind saying that all three of the characters were left ultimately bare and readers will be able to capture a great amount of emotion from these characters, but I didn't love them as much as I hoped I would in the end. But in saying that, the characters had their own very distinctive voices that needed to be told and they also had their own different personalities that set them apart from the rest of the characters. Even the events that happened to these particular characters . . . I have to say it was a quite an interesting turn for them, especially in what happened towards the end of the book. It was really interesting in fact and it was also totally unexpected.
Overall, THIS IS NOT FORGIVENESS is a thought-provoking and a very complicated novel that I could see many of its readers enjoying. Trust me here . . . this book is very complicated to say the least. But combined with great characters, an interesting set of events that are not only realistic but are honestly portrayed, I definitely recommend this book to readers who are looking for a different sort-of read in the young adult market and to anyone who likes books will all sorts of twists!