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Candy by Kevin Brooks

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When I hear the word candy, I immediately think of delicious little pieces of sugar. But in Kevin Brooks’ young adult novel, Candy, you don’t get a sweet love story. Instead, you get the hardcore reality of life, but that’s what makes the book so intriguing. Brooks doesn’t attempt to sugar coat reality and this means many teens can relate to his plots and characters.

When you open the novel you meet Joe Beck, the protagonist, an innocent sixteen year old. But once he meets Candy he is flooded with problems he never had to face. To him she is the best person he has ever met; this is because of her striking personality. As they get to know each other, he learns of the hardships in her life, such as drug addiction, smoking and drinking.

The many characters introduced throughout the story sparked my interest. These individuals ranged from cold hearted to sweet and loving. Brooks created a mix of people, such as the sister and her fiancé playing the role of authority because the dad is caught up in his own world, a girl in need of help and a boy trying to figure out how to become more responsible. It is clear that Brooks put much effort into the process of creating the characters. Each one has a personality that is original; no two figures are the same, which is hard to find in a long novel.

Brooks is able to bring the novel alive through his vivid description and choice of words. To me the intensity of his depictions are the best qualities of the book. In every scene Brooks goes into thorough detail. This gives you the feeling that the scene is alive and you are there. In this except when Joe is attempting to gain his bearings, you will understand what I mean. “Taking my time, breathing in the rubbery stink of buses the choke of exhaust fumes.. . looking around, thinking about things, and looking around some more…” (p.7) Even though they can seem a bit long, the feel the descriptions give you makes up for it. For example, when Joe is playing his gig, you feel every emotion he is feeling, from the beauty of being the center of attention on stage to the anxiety of breaking up a fight.

Kevin Brooks is the acclaimed author of many novels about influential love, such as Lucas and his other famous book, Martyn Pig. All of his works have powerful messages. In Candy, he is trying to convey, through his choice of plot and characters, that one can always change with the guidance of others. Candy is on the brink of breaking down and letting others control her life, but with the help of Joe she just may be able to escape her past. His books are action filled and have some relation to crime and the complicated reality of romance. This makes them fascinating because you don’t know what to expect from the author. He is unpredictable, which, in my opinion, is one of the best features a writer can have.

If you like a love story full of raw emotions, this is a perfect book for you. With each turn of a page I started to sympathize and fear for the characters as I followed their journey. If you want to find out whether Joe and Candy’s love is sweet or sour pick up the book and start flipping the pages.



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This article has 3 comments. Post your own!

xxLivxx said...
Nov. 1, 2012 at 8:25 am:
This is one of my favourite books ever! :D
 
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rabbit said...
Nov. 18, 2011 at 11:34 am:
great evaluation of a pertinant situation that comes in every teen life! keep up the good work
 
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luv2read said...
Oct. 18, 2011 at 5:14 pm:
I think it's a great review-it's very thorough. I like Anna's recurring reference to sweetness, or the lack of it in the story.  I also love writing that is very descriptive and creates strong imagery.  All in all Anna's review makes me want to read this book!
 
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