on 17 February 2008
I read this as a proof as part of my job and it's been a long time since I found a book I couldn't put down. Now in my 30's it can be tough reviewing books for teenagers but this was terrific. Gritty, modern and fast paced I was reading this in my lunch hour, before bed, on days off just to find out what happened next! Deals with murder, drugs, drink and sexual themes so definately a teenage read. Terrific stuff.
on 3 December 2008
Despite the fact i did get utterly hooked on this book, the ending was a real disapointment - i just didn't understand it, Brooks had created so many weird and thrilling twists but he never tied up the ends. It was almost like he had said, 'And i woke up and it was all a dream!'
on 16 September 2012
This book is a coming-of-age crime-thriller for teenagers. I'm not a teenager, and I'm not really a fan of thrillers. This book isn't for me. And yet, I thought it was awesome.
The plot centres around of group of friends in their mid-teens. As with any decent thriller, there's sex, booze, drugs and missing people. I've often said that moral ambiguity is the key to any good story, and you'll find that in abundance here.
This book might be marketed to teenagers, but the quality of the writing is very high, better than most thrillers I've read that are aimed at adults. It cleverly interweaves a genuinely thrilling mystery with neat social commentary and acutely observed humour centred around the teenager-parent relationship. The plot is of it's time - it's only four years old, and many of the references are already dated - but the themes are timeless: rich versus poor, stereotypes versus reality, childhood versus adulthood.
There's a brilliant thread of hallucinations and psychiatric disturbance that runs through this novel - and there are key plot points to explain it. I mention this only because it demonstrates that this book deals with complex concepts, and uses really quite advanced literary techniques to make its points. It might be for teenagers, but there's no sense here of writing down to them. And it doesn't pull punches.
One of the most remarkable aspects of Black Rabbit Summer is the extraordinary and memorable ending. Of all the novels I've read lately, this has the strongest ending. And, again, it's not an ending you might expect from a book aimed at teens.
I didn't particularly relish reading this, but it completely surpassed my expectations. It is a teen novel, but that just means it's easy to read. It's a narratively tight well-written gripping novel. I'd recommend it to anyone.
on 30 September 2011
Kevin Brooks is a prolific writer of teenage literature and this novel will resonate with any teenager reading it. It's tense, exciting, mysterious and will have you gripped from the very beginning.
Early on in the novel Brooks wonderfully captures the sights and sounds of the funfair which has arrived in the local town during the long hot summer. You can almost taste the candy floss and hear the screams from the Waltzers as main character Pete Boland is invited to the funfair to catch up with some old friends.
The reunion between Pete and his old friends gives us the backdrop to the mystery which unfolds throughout the book. After a night of drugs, alcohol, sexual tension and the reliving of happy memories we discover local 'celebrity' Stella Ross has failed to return home that evening.
From this point in the novel Brooks masterfully weaves a classic whodunit story alongside the trials and tribulations of teenage life. The book is full of twists and turns which ensures we never quite know which direction we are headed in.
Brooks captures the the intensity and raw emotion of teenage relationships brilliantly. No punches are pulled and teenage readers will appreciate the frankness, and at times rawness, with which Brooks brings his characters to life.
As the novel drew to a close I did feel Brooks was struggling to tie up all the many strands which he had weaved throughout the story. However we are left with lots to think about as we finish the last page and maybe that's what Brooks intended all along...
on 10 March 2009
I am 14; my Dad bought me this book based on reviews, and it proves to be an extremely good book. The book starts off slowly; not a lot happens in the first few chapters, then suddenly... kapoww!!! The book changes into a fast paced, extremely interesting, un-put-down-able novel.
One good feature of the book is that it is narrated by main character Pete Boland: this gives the reader a clear view of his thoughts and feelings. Set in modern-day Britain, this adventure/mystery is gripping, intense, and a good read for people my own age.
on 29 January 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, the plot was gripping and intriguing. I read it in two days and it was one of those books that you just can't put down. However, I found the ending quite disappointing. It felt rushed, and although I wasn't expecting a happy ending, many things weren't resolved, including one of the major plot lines of the book.
Overall, it was a good read, and I will be reading more novels by Kevin Brooks. I would recommend the book, despite the frustrating ending.
on 8 April 2009
Pete is a 16-year-old boy, who has received a phone call from his old friend, Nicole. Pete gets invited to a fairground, with his old gang, twins Nicole and Eric, Pauly and Raymond. That night all secrets start to unvail, when local celebrities and close friends go missing, and the only person he can turn to is a concrete rabbit, and a fortune teller. Death isn't too far away. And with Wes Cambell, the neigh-bourhood thug around, Pete can never be too safe at home.
I got this book recently from the local library in town. I had never heard of the author before or the book. So i started reading it the same day, and it took me around 4hours all together to finish it, i simply couldn't put it down!
The way Kevin Brooks tells the story is so moving, and he makes sure every single intricate detail is included. I thought Pete's story was amazingly wrote, and thats coming from a 13 year old girl! Kevin Brooks could possibly be my new favourite author, and i would recommend this to any person with taste in books!
on 25 April 2014
this book is just like the title- swelteringly fast, provoking burning intensity, and dark in a sort of crazy way. but the one thing i would reprimand it for? just like summer, this too ended too soon, and left me swimming around for answers that Kevin brooks simply hadn't provided. all in all, a wonderful book though, twisting and turning and keeping you locked in it's grasp long after you finish it.
on 16 May 2009
I have to confess, that the main reason I bought Black Rabbit Summer was its cover. But once I'd studied the cover and read the text on the back of the book I bought it.
A few weeks after as I was looking around in my book shelf, I found Black Rabbit Summer and started reading it.
Already after three or four pages I found myself totally engrossed in the story, which had not unfolded at all yet, but which was the start of a story that would be absorbed in for next while.
The book tells the story of Pete Boland and his friend Raymond. One summer night the two of them join an old group of friends to the fair ground.
Affected by drugs, alcohol and memories Pete ends up walking away from the fair ground alone. Without Raymond.
The night has been a horrible experience for Pete, who has been running around all night, searching for his friend. But Pete hasn't had the worst experience by far that night, as the famous girl Stella Ross has disappeared too.
However the police have an idea to where she is in contrast to Raymond as they have found Stella's cloths down by the river. Stella's blood strained clothes.
Now Raymond is the prime suspects, but Pete is sure that he could never have done anything to Stella or anyone else and is determined to find Raymond and Stella and find out the truth.
I thought this book was totally unputdownable. While I read it I was always either reading or when that wasn't possible, thinking about it. Even when I finished it the story still went round and round in my head for quiet some time.
on 22 July 2009
Although this book is aimed at older teenagers , I thought I would have a go at reading it ( I am 41). I found it to be an excellent read I couldnt put it down. It is excellently written and a real page turner and the characterisation is brilliant. I would defintely read another one of this author.