I chose this from amazon vine for my 15 year old daughter but as she had many other books un-read, I thought I'd have a look first.
Set in Leipzig, it is a short novel told in the first person by Dipper a "traceur" (free runner / parkour-ist) about himself and his motley crew of bird named friends: Skylark, Jay, Corone (nope, me neither), Kite and Corone's younger sister the charmingly named Kittiwake. In their mid to late teens they are going through the usual problems of teens worldwide - girls and parents etc but no drink or drugs surprisingly. Dipper comes across as a pretty grounded dare I say "balanced" person, easy to spend time with as he runs across town practising his moves with the Planetbirds. The harmony is upset however when the taciturn and secretive Corone splits with his girlfriend, Kite, who confides in the confused young Dipper as to Corone's dark moods whilst Kittiwake is left alone with Jay's aloof father.
So far so good, this is a well written book with a good set of different and likeable characters - everyday young adults in this case channelling their energy into something positive and creative. It captures the angst, emotions, rivalries and jealousies of the gang very well and you don't need to be a traceur/traceuse to enjoy it but a handy glossary at the back explains all the moves for you should you care to look.
However, late on it throws the mother of all curve balls when it is discovered that Jay's father is a paedophile who had been having sex with Corone's sister. Thankfully it is not too explicit but still, it hardly seems appropriate material for the average 12-16 year old and I'm glad I read the book first and won't be passing it back to my daughter. Child abuse sadly does and will happen but the statutory rape of a 10 year old with learning difficulties is hardly the stuff of teen literature. I can't believe it was not mentioned or even hinted in the description anywhere and I am seriously disappointed with amazon about it.
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