Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Book Review: Smart by Kim Slater

 Jamie Oliver should read this book because it would tell him quite clearly what my generation thinks of him.

'I found Jean's friend dead in the river. His name was Colin Kirk. He was a homeless man, but he still wanted to live.' There's been a murder, but the police don't care. It was only a homeless old man after all. Kieran cares. He's made a promise, and when you say something out loud, that means you're going to do it, for real. He's going to find out what really happened. To Colin. And to his grandma, who just stopped coming round one day. It's a good job Kieran's a master of observation, and knows all the detective tricks of the trade. But being a detective is difficult when you're Kieran Woods. When you're amazing at drawing but terrible at fitting in. And when there are dangerous secrets everywhere, not just outside, but under your own roof.

When I first started reading this book I thought we had another Curious Incident in the Nighttime. Thank God, we don't. Let me start by saying I'm on the Autistic spectrum (Aspergers side of things), I'm also dyslexic and my little brother autisic so I know about kids with special needs. It's never actually said what Kieran has in the book but I did read a blurb that said it was Autism. Most of the books written in the point of view of  kids with learning disabilities (such as Curious Incident in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon) have this weird dumbed sort of tone, which I hate. Because it all about the disability and not the person with the disability. Smart's not like that.

Kieran becomes his own person. At first I thought it was going be one of those books, but it so not. Sure, his disorder does feature in the book, but in the capacity it does in the life of someone with that sort of disorder. It develops into this a really good story.

The plot is interesting. This is more of a character book, but there is a mystery of course. Everything goes in a nice circle, if that makes sense. It does deals with abuse, homelessness, drugs and other stuff. There is a few a sadish moments.

I really like the cover, especially since it so linked with the book and is interesting enough.

The characters are well developed. Even the minor characters are strangely memorable. Kieran get his information wrong sometimes, he says that the invisible coat from Harry Potter was made from the hair of a magical creature but that's not even how things become invisible in the world of Harry Potter, there was something else as well. He does a lot of drawing and wandering the streets. I think Kieran was quite likable, sort of humourist and does what he thinks is best. The characters are realistic is my main point.

Overall, I gave this 4.5 stars out 5 for missing sharpers. I enjoyed reading this book and have already started to bug people I know to read it.

 I got this off Netgalley for a review. It’s being published by Macmillan Children's Books on 5th June 2014 (Tomorrow).

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