Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Tape by Steven Camden - Book review

I love at times to go into my own world with a great book. I've always loved reading or being read to as a child before bedtime. I love the escapism and for books to grip me. The best ones are the books that you can't put down and I can get through them so quickly. That's a good indicator for me as to whether I'm enjoying a book as I will race through it if it's an un-put-downable one!

So for one of my New Years resolutions this year I am aiming to read more frequently. I love buying new books and reading the blurbs to see if the book seems interesting. I like reading a variety of books but am drawn more to ones that are aimed at teenagers/ young adults and would much rather read this targeted age group than ones meant for adults.

So here I have my review on the first novel written by Steven Camden named '*Tape.' The book is set for release on the 30th January for £9.99 or you can pre-order from Amazon here for a little cheaper. I was kindly sent this book to read and review. Steven Camden writes plays and teaches storytelling. He set up his own company last year called Bearheart which is a creative projects company based upon stories. He is also an acclaimed spoken- word artist.

Tape- Steven Camden book with chocolate as a treat to eat whilst you read. Also need a onesie which is not shown!

The story tells the tale of two thirteen year olds named Ryan and Amelia whose lives are inextricably linked through a tape recording. The book tells their stories when they are both the same age whilst set at different decades. Amelia's parents have both died and so she is living with her Nan. Through the school summer holidays she starts to sort through her parents' belonging which brings thoughts of wonder, memories and emotions.

 Ryan's story is told through his situation of his dad's new girlfriend and son moving into his family home and the feelings of still grieving for his own mum who has died and having to come to terms with his 'stepmum' being completely different and his 'stepbrother' not treating him kindly. The tape comes into play when Ryan's dad suggests recording his voice into the tape to talk to his mum and to let out his feelings.
The book is extremely relevant to a lot of peoples' situations in today's society with the different dynamics of family life, not getting along, teenagers' emotions and the grief that people go through and how they cope with this in their own ways.

The book is an easy read and I like how the two different characters' stories are set with different fonts to distinguish them. The book has humorous moments to keep the intended audience interested and rings true of what most thirteen year olds would act like both recently and in the past too.
The different chapters help to build up the clues slowly to ensure that by the final chapter all of the jigsaw pieces fall into place and you are left with that feel-good-factor. The feeling of 'Oh wow so that's why the two characters stories run parallel and that the universe has things mapped out for us that are just meant to be.'
The author writes in a way that gives you the clues piece by piece and at first you wonder who the characters could be and what the significance is of the tape recorder. By the end of the story it's like a penny drops and the realisation of the plot hits you. This is a cleverly written book and very imaginative.



Here you can see the two different fonts to show the different characters' stories. I like how the pause symbol has been used to move to the next character.

Overall I would recommend this book as it is unique, imaginative, clever and grips you.

Laura xoxo

*PR item kindly sent :)