- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Walker Books (3 May 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1406321958
- ISBN-13: 978-1406321951
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 32 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 765,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Wasted Paperback – 3 May 2010
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This is an incredible piece of fiction written by Nicola Morgan and for me, definitely the new read of 2010 so far.... This book feels like a stroke of genius, combining a fast-paced story with romance and danger, success and family drama alongside some seriously thought-provoking happenstance. Fantastic. * A Bookseller * Morgan has always been interested in showing how the adolescent brain works - in addition to her superb Highwayman's Footsteps novels, inspired by the famous poem, she has written two useful nonfiction books on the teenage brain - and Wasted dramatises the power of first love and how easily a young life can be derailed. It's a gripping, original and stylish read that should cheer teens up by making them sob their eyes out. -- Amanda Craig * The Times * Truly an amazing book that really makes you wonder about the little chances that life turns on. A story about love, fate and the danger of leaving things to chance. * http://ourbookreviewsonline.blogspot.com/ * This is certainly the most unique, original and all round fascinating book I've read for a while. From the very first page this book really captured my attention, I just didn't want to put it down. * Rhiana-reads * An interesting intelligent novel * The Scotsman * I found it both hard to put down and impossible to finish. * Books For Keeps * Nicola Morgan's Wasted is a compelling and original novel with an ingenious narrative device at its heart. -- Chris Small * Times Educational Supplement *
About the Author
Nicola Morgan is the author of many critically acclaimed titles for older children and young adults, including Chicken Friend, The Highwayman's Footsteps, The Highwayman's Curse, Mondays Are Red, The Passionflower Massacre, Know Your Brain, The Leaving Home Survival Guide and most recently, Deathwatch. Her novels Fleshmarket and Sleepwalking both won Scottish Art Council prizes, the latter winning the Scottish Children's Book of the Year, and her non-fiction title Blame My Brain was shortlisted for the prestigious Aventis Prize. Nicola lives in Edinburgh.
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Fundamentally a tale of boy meets girl it is told in such a unique way, with a voice that manages to weave you into the minds of the characters and then take you outside of them, to see what they cannot see, and may never see.
The story is interwoven with "what ifs?", meaning you have to turn the page to discover the outcome of each decision, and the final twist is brilliantly executed, requiring the reader to actively participate. Having made your decision, and chosen your ending, I would urge you not to go back and read the alternative (if only there were some way of making sure you never could!) - not because one ending is better than the other, but because you are in danger of having it mess with your head!
You cannot help but wonder why this hasn't been done before - and it may be that other stories will be done this way in the future, though it is hard to imagine that they could be done better.
Although the book deals with some challenging concepts this is done in such a skilful way, as an integral part of the story, that there is no danger of the reader feeling overwhelmed. On the contrary, the reader is actively engaged in determining how the story will evolve, a technique that is handled masterfully and really requires to be read to be fully appreciated.
This is one of those rare books that could be enjoyed equally by a male and female readership, both teenage and adult - and everyone will have a unique opinion of it!
I've read and enjoyed several of Nicola Morgan's books in the past but this one is in an altogether different league - this is definitely a book to TAKE A CHANCE on.
The time frame of the book is those halcyon days at the end of the summer term, when you've finished your last exams and are therefore free to do what you like. Jess joins a band and falls in love with Jack. Jack's obsessed with tossing a coin to make decisions, to make a sacrifice to fate in order to ward off bad luck. There's a gang of tarty girls who've got it in for the pair of them. Some bad stuff happens. Some bad stuff nearly happens. As the novel progresses, two versions of some chapters are given, to show how tiny differences can have huge effects on events. At the end the reader is invited to toss a coin to decide the final outcome.
Really unusual book which I thoroughly enjoyed.
This is definitely not just for young adults, the story and the depth reach out to a much wider audience and you will find something new and meaningful for you whatever your age.
Two teenagers meet by chance. Jess is singing in the music room at school when Jack passes by just as he is wondering where he can find a new singer for his band.
Jack and Jess are both affected by difficult situations at home. Jack deals with his by tossing a coin and living his life by whatever option heads or tails throws up. He calls it Jack's Game. Jess tends to hide the reality of her home life and is reluctant to play Jack's game.
The omnipresent voice of the narrator pulls the reader deep into the emotional lives of Jack and Jess so that you care about what happens to them. As the painful history of each teenager is revealed the narrator pulls back and allows the reader to observe from a distance each nightmare scenario as it unfolds. This sense of detachment slows each of these scenes down and intensifies the horror of the moment.
Throughout the book, the narrator gives you two possible scenarios and then decides for you. As the tension mounts you, the reader, are invited to play Jack's Game, to toss the coin and decide the ending in a game that's now a matter of life and death.
By this point you should be well and truly put off ever playing Jack's Game, as the book makes it clear that there are no 'right' answers. That life isn't determined by fate but by the choices that we make, and even then we have no control over the outcome, as each choice has its own consequences.
Therefore the temptation to toss your coin to decide the ending is irrelevant as either choice will have its good and bad points. But I have to admit that the temptation was strong and you will probably succumb as I did, if only out of curiosity.
This is the most heart pounding, thought provoking book that I have read this year.
Wasted isn't simply a book to read, it's an experience.
I don't want to go into too much detail about why this novel isn't very good, because the author seems like such a nice lady. Maybe I'm too old (34), and it is aimed at 14 year olds.
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