It is rare that I read a book so far ahead of publication nowadays. I try to read things as they come out, so they get promotion around their launch into the world. But sometimes, some books creep into my head. After hearing Tom Pollock read an excerpt of the first chapter at the Walker YA preview event, I couldn’t hold back and I pried open my copy on the train home that night.
This book. THIS BOOK.
Sometimes I read a book that makes me feel so many emotions that I end up tweeting the author my feelings, with specific page references. I definitely sent Tom at least two of those, though I won’t repeat them because I want you to experience the plot hitting you like a truck.
This is a twisty-turny thriller, heavily peppered with unreliable revelations that send the plot — and your brain — spiralling. This is not a straight forward novel, and it is all the more exciting and brilliant for it.
Peter Blankman is often afraid, balancing his severe anxiety with logic and his love of maths, wherever possible. At an awards ceremony celebrating his scientist mother’s work, everything goes to hell; his mother is stabbed, his twin sister Bel has disappeared, and he is taken in with a shadowy organisation telling him to trust them. Together with his only friend Ingrid, he must use is logic and analytical skills to save everyone… or at the very least find out what on earth is going on.
Several times in this book I thought I had everything figured out, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Pollock dangles tidbits and clues, only to flip the plot completely on its head.
I am a huge fan of how Pollock bluntly confronts mental health, tackling it head on and plainly showing the realities of living with a glitchy brain. The novel basically opens right into the middle of a panic attack, showing the reader the reality of anxiety and eating disorders. If you want a taster of his writing on mental health, this piece about his experiences with anxiety and bulimia is incredibly insightful.
I’m absolutely blown away by this brilliantly witty adventure through science, maths and the mind. Mark your calendars for 7th June and clear your weekend; prepare for an adventure you never expected.
What to read next:
- Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas
- Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
- Replica by Lauren Oliver
A small note, this novel requires content notes for anxiety attacks, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, compulsive hand washing and self harm.
Thank you kindly to Walker Books and ED PR for sharing the copy with me in advance.