BOOK REVIEW: 15 Days Without a Head by Dave Cousins

Title:  15 Days Without a Head
Author:  Dave Cousins
Expected U.S. Release Date:  May 8th, 2013 by Flux
Source:  eARC from publisher

From Goodreads:
A compelling US debut about family, forgiveness, and hope

Despite having a depressed alcoholic mother and a little brother who's convinced he's a dog, fifteen year-old Laurence Roach is trying to live a normal life. But when his mom doesn't come home after work one night, Laurence is terrified that child services will find out she's gone and separate him from his brother.

For two weeks, Laurence does whatever he can to keep her disappearance a secret. Spinning a web of complicated lies for friends, neighbors, and the authorities, Laurence even dresses like his mother to convince everyone she's still around. By following clues, the brothers are finally able to track down their mother's whereabouts. And that's when the real trouble begins in this powerful story about what it means to be a family.

Mrs. Beamer's Review:
I read this book straight through in one sitting.  It's a solid 3.5 stars for me.  I thought the writing was superb.  While the subject matter  is depressing, I felt the author did a good job providing a few lighthearted moments.  I never felt like I needed to put the book down to give myself an emotional break.  

Two things I wasn't sold on...
Mina.  I liked her well enough.  BUT...I never felt I really knew her.  I wanted to know about her background.  Why does she interact with Laurence the way she does?  What is she all about?  I wanted to know more.
The Game Show.  I just wasn't that interested in this part of the storyline.  I understand its place in the story...but I found myself skimming most of those scenes.

What I loved loved loved about this book was the relationship between Laurence and his younger brother.  THAT hit me in my gut.  Mr. Cousins created such a complex and beautiful character in Laurence.  In fact, the book read more like a character study than a novel at times.  I highly recommend this book to all my high school students.  This book tackles some serious topics while keeping the material teen-appropriate.  And, the writing is SO GOOD I'm certain anyone who starts this book will not be able to put it down until they are done :)  Amazing debut novel Mr. Cousins.

Mrs. Beamer’s Wrap-Up Rating: 0-5 (0=none, 5=lots) click here for more info
Language: 0
Violence: 0
Sexual Content: 0
Drugs/Alcohol: 1
Potential Controversial Topics: none
Recommend for High School Libraries: YES
Comfortable With My Child Reading: high school

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed it :)