Friday, 19 June 2015

Kill All Enemies

I have long been a fan of English author Melvin Burgess, and 'Kill All Enemies
' is yet another powerful teen novel to add to his name.

The three main characters in this novel are Billie, Chris and Rob. Initially it is difficult to find anything likeable about any of them.
Billie is a violent adolescent girl who has been through five schools in two years.
Chris is thoroughly obnoxious and disruptive. He hates school and makes it clear that it is beneath him.
Rob is a large, awkward adolescent who is caught between being bullied and bullying others.

But as you read on you become aware of their circumstances, mostly family circumstances, that in many ways explain their situations.
Billie's mother, for instance, is an alcoholic and neglectful parent.
Rob has an abusive step-father and a weak, incapable mother.
And Chris's situation becomes apparent, too.

Throughout the novel the three teens become associated and intertwined.
The question for the reader is what happens when you put these three explosive personalities together?

Melvin Burgess is a master storyteller and his characters are gritty, at times funny and believable.
Although there is much pessimism and darkness in this novel, there is one shining light in particular and that is Hannah, the social worker.
Hannah is soon alert as to what is going on with these teens.
'Right,' she says.....and then she takes charge.
Good for Hannah.

-Ann

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