Saturday, 29 January 2011
This is a newly published book (well 2010) and just a chance spot on Amazon. Infact I actually saw a forum post about pony books for boys and the Author had posted this one...Always intrigued by new pony books I went to have a nosy and on account of the excellent reviews it already had bought myself a copy.
What a debut! Best book I've read since Twilight (okay i know that doesn't say much for my taste but you really need to give this one a go!)
In all honesty, although horses do form an integral part of the plot, this book is not exclusively a book for horse lovers, but it is a book that youngsters would benefit from reading.
It covers such a wide base from coping with social deprivation, living with alcoholism, low self esteem and neglect to the social divide between these youngsters living this life and those from the same wider communities who have a far more affluent upbringing and want for nothing. This book covers all of these gritty issues and more with tact and remains true to life and most importantly of all is very believable.
Declan 'The Hood' and 'Princess' Vicky might be cousins but they are worlds apart.
The biggest hardship Vicky has ever dealt with is the breakdown of her parents marriage...however a young stepmother with the same interest in horses and whom Vicky likes very much is not too much a difficulty in her otherwise perfect life. She goes to a good school, has an expensive show jumper (who she has just gotten a place on school SJ team with), has private jumping lessons and her every whim catered for.
Declan on the other hand lives a far less charmed life. Social deprivation is very real in Declans world and with an alcoholic Mother, dead Father and previous conviction for joyriding just for starters I don't need to state the obvious.
Their two worlds collide, quite literally, when Declans Mother takes an overdose and Declan has nowhere to go but his Aunt Collette's (Vicky's mother). Without spoiling it too much, needless to say it's a whirlwind ride of emotions for both the youngsters and as Declan stumbles deeper into 'Vicky's world' emotions certainly ride high with devastating consequences...
Taking Flight is such an absorbing fast pace read that you are quickly drawn into it and I found it very hard to put down indeed.
Declan is an intricate but fascinating character, and a far cry from my own upbringing and experiences (thank goodness if I'm honest) but most of all he's real, sadly very real. There are millions of real Declans out there and Declans story highlights, not only how difficult life can be for these youngsters but also that there can be a different life for them. Anything is possible and life is what you make it regardless of where you come from...this echoes throughout this excellent story.