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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for teenagers
Finding a good book to engage young teenagers can be difficult - the great reads we remember enjoying at that age are rejected as being too old fashioned and dull, whilst many of the current offerings are rejected as silly stories of teenage super-heroes, spies, vampires, soppy love stories and/or the supernatural. An Act of Love provides an up-to-date story line with...
Published on 16 Sep 2011 by L. Hall

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars simplistic
The basic idea is a modern possibility but I felt the whole story took a rather simplistic approach. The aim seemed at times to want to lead us to almost a govenmental idea of how things should be. A good story, bringing to life certain aspects of army life its horrors and friendships the good and bad times,and also giving the view from the other political side, good to...
Published on 21 July 2011 by J. McNicol


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for teenagers, 16 Sep 2011
By 
L. Hall (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: An Act of Love (Hardcover)
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Finding a good book to engage young teenagers can be difficult - the great reads we remember enjoying at that age are rejected as being too old fashioned and dull, whilst many of the current offerings are rejected as silly stories of teenage super-heroes, spies, vampires, soppy love stories and/or the supernatural. An Act of Love provides an up-to-date story line with characters my sons could relate to and a plot that educates about some very important issues and events.

It made a pleasant change from having to chide my 13 year old son to read something other than football magazines to have to drag him away from the book for dinner. It was then eagerly snapped up by his brother and both boys not only requested more books from Alan Gibbons but insisted that I should read it too - a reaction only previously elicited by The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. It is well researched and easily read and I would be very surprised if it doesn't appear in the classroom.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plenty to ponder., 11 Jan 2012
This review is from: An Act of Love (Paperback)
Well done, Mr Gibbons! This is a tricky subject to tackle and I applaud this author's courage in taking it on.

The two main characters in this story are the closest of close friends in childhood, but as they grow up they also grow apart. This is initially because Chris moves to another part of town and therefore to a new school, but it is also because, as the boys grow older, world events and events in their own town make it harder for a Muslim and a non-Muslim to be close friends.

Imran's brother goes to prison for taking a very small part in a riot and their parents feel deep shame. Poor Imran feels alienated from them and looks elsewhere for guidance on how to be a Muslim living in a non-Muslim society. Unfortunately the people he turns to cause him to be still further alienated from his family and we fear he will embrace extremism and terrorism and forget his family's viewpoint, that Islam is an act of love not violence. While all this is going on, Chris has moved even further away from him and joined the British Army. As the story moves towards it's climax, on the day that Chris is to receive an award for bravery, we realise that Chris and Imran are still looking out for each other and that their childhood oath of 'blood brothers forever' will save the day and many lives.

This is a book about loyalty - to your friends, your family, your country and your religion. We all have choices to make as we grow and move through life, but for some people the choices are more difficult. In this book Imran decides that terrorism and violence are not the answer, thank goodness, but the author shows us very clearly that outcome could have been very different.

I hope lots of people read this book and think about the issues raised.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars simplistic, 21 July 2011
By 
J. McNicol - See all my reviews
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This review is from: An Act of Love (Hardcover)
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The basic idea is a modern possibility but I felt the whole story took a rather simplistic approach. The aim seemed at times to want to lead us to almost a govenmental idea of how things should be. A good story, bringing to life certain aspects of army life its horrors and friendships the good and bad times,and also giving the view from the other political side, good to remember that every story has two sides.
Unfortunatly it just did not ring true with stero type characters and a failure to hold attention.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written with some interesting themes, 6 July 2011
By 
D. Richards (South Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: An Act of Love (Hardcover)
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I read this book as part of a school programme on community and "global issues" and found it be very well written and very thought provoking. As an adult reader, I very much enjoyed the story and thought that it had a good pace, it flowed well, had very realistic characters that were easy to relate too, and it had a very good conclusion. I also found the use of language appropriate to the age range this book is aimed at (early to mid teens) without "dumbing down" key issues or themes.

The book generated some very interesting class discussions about terrorism, friendship, and the world we live in post Sept 11th in General. I found that it was a success in making pupils think about these issues, and helped develop thier empathy skills and their understanding of the current conflict in Afghanistan too.

There is a lot of opportunity for teachers to develop worksheets and tasks based on this book (sadly my module did not lend itself to this as well as it could have) and I really would recommed this for anyone who has to teach similar modules in thier own schools as it really did enagage the pupils and generated some very interesting discussions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Important in theme, compelling in the telling, 2 Jun 2011
By 
Mrs. B. S. Kemp "Beth Kemp" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: An Act of Love (Paperback)
This book is a thriller for our times, exploring the important themes of race relations and the impact of the Afghan war. It opens dramatically, with a bomb threat at a military awards ceremony, then traces back through ten years of a friendship, while unpicking how things have got to the point they are at - with the friends on 'opposite sides'.

Because it centres in on a particular relationship, it gets a good look at the issues involved without ever being preachy - it's too 'close-up' for that. At one level, it's a really important book, and would be a great one for discussion in schools. At another level, it's a brilliant story told extremely well: I defy you to read this and not care for these boys!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading, 29 May 2011
By 
Lovely Treez (Belfast, N Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: An Act of Love (Hardcover)
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Alan Gibbons is better known for writing about demons and horror in his Hell's Underground series for young adults. Here he turns his attention to the contemporary horrors of war, terrorism and racism. Chris and Imran have been best friends since they were little but, as they grow up, terrorism and racism cause a fracture in their relationship, a split which could prove fatal. Chris finds himself stumbling into a career in the army, hurled into the midst of war in Afghanistan at the tender age of 17 whilst Imran finds himself continually disillusioned by the way he and his fellow Muslims are treated like second-class citizens and never properly treated on a par with their white neighbours.

The author provides excellent insight into the murky modern world of terrorism, examining the emotional cost of war, the misunderstandings between different cultures which lead to acts of violence running counter to the act of love which the Koran advocates. My 11 year old son and I both enjoyed An Act of Love immensely. A coming of age story which perfectly reflects the ups and downs of our modern multi-cultural society - highly recommended for ages 10+.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brotherly love, 27 May 2011
By 
Owl "Ollie" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: An Act of Love (Hardcover)
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This would be a book for both children and adults. It is well written and shows the situation that children face during war. As adults maybe we need to read this book to see how our actions affect others. I thorougly enjoyed this and think it would be good on a class reading list. Especially as you hear the stories of war everyday on our television or radios. The story tells how no matter what happens in your life friendships and love will always win the day. Battles are not only one on the battlefield but the battle with our friendships and existence is also important. It made me sit up and think of what would I do in that situation and how other actions you do could come back to you in later life and you would hope you had made the right decisions.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Though Provoking, 19 May 2011
By 
Tasha (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: An Act of Love (Hardcover)
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At seven-years-old Chris and Imran are best friends. The story follows them as they grow up and apart from each other. As children they had so much in common but they end up with dramatically different lives.

The book deals with the difficult issue of terrorism which is dealt with in an accessible way by viewing historical moments such as the Bradford Riots, 9/11 and the 7/7 bombings through the eyes of two young boys who at first don't understand the importance of what is happening around them but soon find out just how these much impact these events have.

Throughout the story we get to know the two boys through their different feelings and emotions regarding their friendship as well as racism and terrorism. At times the book is not easy to read - in terms of subject matter, the writing is outstanding - and it makes you question your opinions of the whole issue.

An Act of Love is a great way for young people to learn more about the war on terrorism, particularly on how it affects individuals, and it would no doubt prompt discussion about this as well.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A story of today, 25 April 2014
This review is from: An Act of Love (Kindle Edition)
As an avid reader of military thrillers, I picked this book off a library shelf on a whim; mainly due to the cover artwork. I read it from an adult standpoint, not initially appreciating it was aimed at the YA market, although that explains the somewhat simplistic approach to various themes.
It is an interesting concept; two boys from differing racial backgrounds who are firm friends drifting apart as each grows up and takes a different path in life. One becomes a soldier, the other becomes a radicalised Muslim on the verge of becoming a terrorist pawn.
Both sides of the story are handled sympathetically. It is obvious that a great deal of research has gone into the book and I could find no fault with the military aspect of warfare in Afghanistan and the general ethos of soldiers. I was slightly less convinced by the ease with which Imran, the Muslim boy, was turned away from his radical path. That is not to say the lessons were any less pointed, this was as true a story of good against evil as any mediaeval mummers play. A rattling good yarn with a message.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unique read for teens., 4 Oct 2013
This review is from: An Act of Love (Paperback)
At the beginning of this book, it seems as if it might just be a stereotypical novel full of action and crime, made for boys. Which aren't necessarily bad books, however lack a bit of originality.
However, the reader soon discovers that this is a well thought out book, with a gripping storyline and two best-friends on opposite sides of the metaphorical coin. As both boys grow up, they grow apart, with Chris following in his parents footsteps and rooting for the Americans within the war; whereas Imran follows a bit more of an extreme path, as whilst trying to rebel against his parents, he accidentally gets involved in something a lot more serious and ends up mixing with the leader of a terrorist organisation.
The book sublimely reminds us of how, as humans, need to retain our humanity and look past what the government want us to see, and delve deeper into the other side of the story; and see that it is not only America and England that suffer from war, but that it is other countries that are caught in the cross-fire.
The book ends with the two friends, lost to each other for many years, saving each other, not only from death but also themselves.
Gibbons breaks the heart of the reader, and slowly puts it back together piece-by-piece until it is whole again, and as I put down the book, content with the finish, I realised that perhaps the title gave away quite a lot of the book, as throughout the book the running theme was that there were not only acts of friendship but also, one final Act Of Love.
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An Act of Love
An Act of Love by Alan Gibbons (Paperback - 2 Feb 2012)
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