Monday, 4 November 2019

Bearmouth by Liz Hyder

Thank you to Pushkin Press for sending me a copy of this book for an honest review. 

I'll be honest, I was a little nervous about reading this book to begin with. The book is written phonetically which I worried would be difficult to follow. However, within the first chapter I got the hang of it completely and I devoured the whole book in two days. 
I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn't the piece of dystopian genius I read. This book is utterly outstanding and one that stays with you long after you read it. 
Newt can't remember living anywhere else. Life has always been working in the darkest, most claustrophobic caves, mining all day long and never ever seeing daylight. Newt has never questioned this awful existence, believing it to be the Mayker's way, until Devlin arrives. Newt starts to see that life could actually be better and that things need to change. 
Newt is special, in so many different ways and I love how this one child takes on the establishment to start a revolution single handedly. I loved the first person narrative as it really brought this story to life. You feel the pain and suffering alongside Newt throughout the story. There are some really traumatic scenes in the novel, which were difficult to read, but really added to the darkness of the plot. It's one of the most uncomfortable books I've ever read and yet I couldn't put it down. I was so impressed with how the author handled sensitive subjects without being too graphic. 
If I had to describe this book to say where it might fit in the market, I would probably say it's The Knife of Never Letting Go meets Ella Minnow Pea. 
This book is ambitious in style, extremely dark in nature, but overflowing in excellence. I'd be shocked if this book didn't win a few awards in the near future. An outstanding talented debut!