Thursday 29 April 2021

Book Review - Look Both Ways

 Title: Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks

Author: Jason Reynolds 

Publisher: Knights Of 

Release Date: 7 Nov. 2019 

ISBN-13: 978-1999642594



Parents, siblings, teachers, coaches, nosy neighbours, babysitters - there's not much of your day that isn't dictated by someone else. Unless you walk home from school - walkers have independence - those fifteen-minutes from school to home, completely unsupervised. What waits for them is the mischief of curiosity, allies and enemies, a taste of freedom, and plenty of humour.  

My Review

This is the third title I have been given from the Carnegie shortlist, this one is very short and from first appearances I wasn't particularly looking forward to reading it, but at just over 130 pages, I knew it would be a fairly quick experience.

The book is divided into 10 chapters and each one follows a child, or a friendship group of children and gives you an insight into their world for that short walk home from school. The concept itself was quite good but I had three main problems with it.

Firstly, I would just start to connect with the character, feel like I was getting to know them and wanting to know more about their story when the chapter would end and it would move to a different child on a different street with a completely different life. Some people may enjoy these brief interludes and be content but I found it very frustrating, I wanted to know more about some of the stories but that was it. 

Secondly, Some of the stories were just boring, especially if you had just read a really gripping one such as the group of pickpockets with a deeper meaning behind thier actions. Some of them I just found rather irritating and I just wanted them to get home so i could stop reading about them.   

Lastly, I was expecting there to be some big reveal or connection between all the stories, I thought there was going to be a massive moment where all of these children came together and found a common ground, to give some reason to their stories and ventures, but apart from the odd cross over where a new character would see one of the others in the hallway, there was no link at all and as I finished the book I turned to my husband and said 'well what was the point of that then?!!?' It all just fell rather flat and I'm still not sure exactly what the point of this book is.

Some may enjoy these brief stories and peeks into the lives of our walkers, but I just found it frustrating and it didn't ever go anywhere. So a big disappointment from me, but it did only take me an hour to read so not much wasted time!

My Rating


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