Today I am having a sneaky look at Brian Conaghan Teen / YA book called The Bombs That Bought Us Together.
Publication Date 21st April 2016
It is hard growing up in Little Town. The country is run by a harsh regime, whose rules you do not want to break. Fourteen-year-old Charlie Law has memorized the rules. No going out after dark, no pets, no drinking, no shouting, no ball games in the streets. The list goes on. But as well as the threat of punishment from the regime there is also the threat of the neighbouring county - Old Country - who sees Little Town's land as theirs and they want it back.
Pavel Duda is a refugee from Old Country. He looks like a scarecrow and does not speak the language very well, but Charlie befriends him and together they spend the summer doing up an old shed so they would have a den - somwhere to hang out where they would not be distubed.
To make their shed comfortable they decide that they need to find some furniture. But it is illegal to steal and neither has any money to buy anything, so they ask an acquaintance, who is part of the regime, if he could get them some chairs. Not in a million years did theses boys think that such a simple request could lead to such a deadly chain of events.
What did I think of the story?
This dystopian society that Comagham has created reminded me a great deal of Ireland in the 1980's and The Troubles. To start with, that is what I thought I was reading about.
Without a doubt, Conagham has written a captivating story. The story is told in the first person and everything you experience is from Charlie Law's perspective. Like any other teen, he has to deal with annoying parents and High School crushes.
Charlie becomes embroiled in a frightening world, which would terrify even the bravest of adults. Loyalty is everything; if you dare betray the regime then they came after not only you, but also everyone you have ever loved.
Conagham is very direct with his language and I can imagine that some parents, myself included, would not want their teen, particularly their younger teens, to read this because of it - which is something to bear in mind. However the story is very good and the suspense and drama are portrayed very vividly. It is a real page-turner.
The Book is available for pre-order at Bloomsbury Publishing follow the link