Tuesday, February 08, 2011

REVIEW: Quarry by Ally Kennen

by Ally Kennen
Pages: 240
Publisher: Marion Lloyd Books (imprint of Scholastic UK)
Publication Date: 7th February 2011

When he receives anonymous texts challenging him to bizarre dares, Scrappy's sure one of his mates is having a laugh. Anyway, his confusing teenage life just got more exciting. But the unknow sender cannot be a friend - and the challenges become increasingly dangerous. Someone knows all the secrets of Scrappy's troubled family - and is luring him into a deadly trap..

I've read all of Ally Kennen's teenager books, (Berserk, Beast and Bedlam) and I loved them all so mcuh! There's this thing about her way of writing, which has you hooked and ready for anything. Except you aren't really ready! 

One thing I really loved about Kennen's previous books (aside from Sparks which I think is MG..?) is that not only do they have some pretty cool names that all begin with the letter 'B' and really freaky covers that all have an eye on them, they're all linked in some way. We get to see some of the characters crossing over into each books, which was a really interesting aspect. I was upset to see that Quarry wasn't going to be connected to the others, but hey, I was still really looking forward to reading it! 

Quarry is about a teeange boy called Scrappy. Life at home for Scrappy is complicated; his mum has left them, his older sister Sheeley is frantically looking for a flat so she can leave them, which leaves him having to spend most of his time looking after his Grandad by himself, since Dad is too wrapped up in his work.

When Scrappy receives an anonymous dare through a text, he's sure it's his best mate Silva or maybe even the school bully, Judge, who are just winding him up, but why would they offer him money for it? And quite a large amount of money at that. But when the dares start to get a bit more personal, and a lot more dangerous, what Scrappy originally believed to be a harmless bit of fun starts to twist into something a lot more darker..

Kennen has an eye for genuine family moments like the ones that are written about in Quarry. I thought the relationship between Scrappy and Ted (his Grandad) was really interesting to watch. Ted talks nonsense half the time, but no matter what stage his sanity is at, Scrappy is there for him. He doesn't have to look after Ted, after all, it isn't his duty to do it, it's his dad's. But his dad isn't around much (and when he is, it's not likely he'll be looking after his dad) and Ted doesn't like Sheeley, so he thinks it's up to him to care for him. It's really sweet, especially when you think about how there are so many other things he could be doing, and how any other teenager would most likely moan about looking after their grandparents.

Wow, I honestly had NO idea who the person behind the texts was until it was finally revealed! I was turning the pages so rapidly, I swear you could see smoke coming out! I won't say much about it though, don't want to give anything away, except that it was incredibly shocking. And then I felt like I out to have known who it was, because I think Kennen may have thrown out a few *very* subtle clues..Hmm.

A genuinely creepy and sinister novel, Quarry is a refreshing book that will leave you speechless.

Thank you to Scholastic for sending this to me!


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