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Stones [Kindle Edition]

Polly Johnson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £4.99 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

A vivid, compelling and intensely moving novel from an exciting new voice in young adult fiction.

Coo is trying to cope with the hand that life has dealt her. At sixteen, she feels she’s too young to have lost her older brother, Sam, to alcoholism. She’s skipping school to avoid the sympathy and questions of her friends and teachers, and shunning her parents, angry that they failed to protect her, and desperate to avoid having to face the fact that, towards the end, she began to wish Sam would leave forever – even die. Then, one day, truanting by the Brighton seafront, Coo meets Banks, a homeless alcoholic and she’s surprised to discover that it is possible for her life to get more complicated.

Despite warnings from her friends and family, Coo and Banks develop an unlikely friendship. Brought together through a series of unexpected events, strange midnight feasts, a near drowning and the unravelling of secrets, together they seek their chance for redemption. That is, until Coo’s feelings start getting dangerously out of hand.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1000 KB
  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Authonomy (9 Dec. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DY0A2J2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #344,752 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
ARC - thanks to

`Stones' is a book about a teenage girl called Coo, in the months following the death of her alcoholic brother. It deals with her grief, her guilt about wishing him dead and her resentment towards her parents who allowed him to bully her and in a way ignored her needs and feelings during his difficult life.

I loved the way this book was written, the setting descriptions were amazing, particularly about the beach, the sea and the shops in Brighton. Coo's voice also feels really real, she is unsure about everything but that doesn't make her muddled and her feelings towards her friend Joe and the alcoholic tramp - Banks - that she befriends are perfectly teenage without being childish.

The relationship she develops with Banks is really touching and the ending, whilst sad and thought provoking, makes the book a really grown up read for YA.

As with all great books I was sad when it finished, and I have carried the characters with me all day.

I would recommend this book to teenagers and adults alike. A great new author - I will be looking out for future works by Polly Johnson.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Story, But a Sad Ending. 9 Dec. 2013
By Sarah
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins UK, Digital and Netgalley.)
16-year-old Coo is struggling to come to terms with the death of her alcoholic older brother, and spends more time walking Brighton beach than attending school.
When a homeless man called Banks saves her from another homeless man who claims he has a message from God for her, she strikes up a friendship with him, even though he too is a drunk.
Why does Coo feel so guilty over her brother's death? And is Banks really the person she should be talking to?

This was quite an emotional read about a girl dealing with the death of her brother.

Coo was a bit of a mixed up teen. She felt guilt over her brother's death, partly because she wanted him to die at times, and then felt guilty that she didn't miss him more.
I felt sorry for the situation that she had found herself in, and it really did seem like the feelings she had were going to take a long time for her to work through.

The storyline in this was basically about Coo and how feelings following the death of her brother, but it was also about her finding someone who she could actually talk to, even if the person wasn't necessarily the sort of person her parent's had in mind for her to talk to. I found it interesting the way she bonded with `Banks' and tried to help him, even when he wasn't necessarily trying to help himself.
The ending of this was quite sad, and also left a ton of stuff feeling unfinished. This book basically was about Coo and her grief, but by the end of the book I think she may actually have been more depressed than she was at the start, which was a bit of an anti-happily-ever-after really.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stones by Polly Johnson 10 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase
Stones is a story about teenage Coo coming to terms with the death of her violent, alcoholic brother as well as dealing with the insecurities of growing up, her guilt at his death and the gaping chasm between her and her parents. Striking an unlikely companionship with homeless, alcoholic Banks gives her a greater insight into the seedy life that claimed her brother and forces her to confront fears that she may have been the cause of his death. As her relationship with Banks develops, so does her understanding of her parents' feelings of loss as well as her own grief, though getting there almost costs her her own life.

The author is skilful in showing how Coo, almost unwittingly through her need to be acknowledged by parents and peers, is drawn to life on the streets and its colourful characters. It explores the complex insecurities of a young girl dealing with guilt, grief and growing up. I was drawn in from the first few pages and the fact that the book has no fairytale ending makes it much more readable (I would have been disappointed if it had). I would definitely recommend this as a pretty good read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful messages, a moving story - A great read! 5 Sept. 2014
Stones is a powerfully emotional story that brings many surprises with it along the way. With a range of feelings I read and enjoyed this book, although at times disturbed and concerned at the same time. Not a light hearted novel but one that tackles important issues in a dynamic way.

Coo (Corinne) is a struggling teenager, she's invisible in her own mind and literally in her home to her two parents who are lost in their grieving over the death of her brother Sam. It's the same at school, she is not noticed, she has intense war going on in her own emotions around the death of her brother, relief, guilt, anger all at once. She feels nobody will understand.

Her older brother was a violent and irrational alcoholic and his alcoholism hit the family hard and tore it apart when he was alive, Coo was afraid of her brother and I don't blame her. Alcoholism is horrifically unpredictable to live with and alcoholics only care about one person - themselves.

One day whilst walking alone Coo strikes up conversation with a homeless man called Banks. Banks offers her a landing place where she can talk and be herself, he drinks as do his crazy friends that are around him. One in particular that takes a massive disliking to Coo. She begins to hang around Banks in this new world of homelessness, sharing drinks with him, being torn by the way she feels about him as her friend and confidante also.o

Everyone around Coo are terribly concerned about her increasing connection with Banks. Her few friends she has, her parents, the police, Coo can't see what the problem is, even if she is drinking cheap Vodka with him for the first time and getting drunk when she's never been interested before. She sees something in Banks that she needs. She needs to understand things.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Stones
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Stones is the debut novel by Polly Johnson. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Book Blog Bird
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow..
I put off reading Stones for a while. A few months, actually. Not because it didn’t sound good, not because I didn’t want to read it, but because I wasn’t sure if I could handle... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written & very readable
Polly Johnson's character, Coo, has to deal with the double whammy of teenage angst and the loss of her alcoholic brother. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Sungal
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I Love It
Published 8 months ago by S J SHARP
4.0 out of 5 stars A full page turning thought provoking read
There are a certain selection of YA books that appeal to me, those are with moral issues and life's dilemmas.
This story was full to the brim with all of the above. Read more
Published 10 months ago by read-along-with-sue
5.0 out of 5 stars Written in Stone: Review of Stones by Polly Johnson
“Stones”, the impressive first novel from author Polly Johnson, deals with some brave and unusual themes. Read more
Published 11 months ago by felicemorigel
5.0 out of 5 stars stones by polly Johnson
Gripping , emotional and lovely book
It takes you through the journey of the young girl the brother committing suicide, blame friendship , parenting and neighbourly love... Read more
Published 11 months ago by amal cashin
4.0 out of 5 stars Stones by Polly Johnson
'Stones' is the story of a young girl trying to overcome the trauma of losing her brother to alcoholism. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Mrs. J
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Beutifully written story, well worth the read. I hope there are more to come from this author.
Published 13 months ago by Susan Appleford
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully written book
Polly Johnson's story, Stones, was an easy holiday read for me, despite its serious subject matter; it's so wonderfully written that even whilst soaking up the sun, the... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Jane63
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