Thursday, 11 April 2013

Book Review: The Drowning of Arthur Braxton

The Drowning of Arthur Braxton
By Caroline Smailes 
Published by The Friday Project
Available as Paperback and Ebook

Caroline Smailes is one of those authors that you can never guess what the next book will be about. Her latest novel, The Drowning of Arthur Braxton, successfully weaves greek mythology through the everyday life of a teenage boy, Arthur Braxton. And I can tell you all right now that this one is the best Caroline's best book yet!

The reason I like reading Caroline's books is because they are edgy and honest. She creates characters who have real life problems, who are not from the posh parts of town and like us, and they are struggling to find a place in the world. Arthur Braxton has the usual teenage angst of school, girls and family life. He has to deal with his Dad's breakdown after Arthur's mother decided to pack her bags and go and live with a fella she 'reconnected' with on Facebook. He wants to escape and he ends up stumbling upon an abandoned Victorian bathhouse, which Caroline describes beautifully. He sees a girl swimming baked in the pool. His life is about to change.

Caroline's conversational style pulls you deeper into the story. Reading one more page or even one more chapter is never enough. This book will not let you go. It grips you even after closing the book. I finished this book last weekend and I still thinking about it now. This is a urban fairy tale that will pull at your heart strings but Caroline makes sure the book is full of humour in this tragic love story. If you liked Gods Behaving Badly then you are going to love The Drowning of Arthur Braxton.

I love the structure of the book. Caroline not only offers the viewpoint of Arthur but also includes the perspectives from the other characters, giving the reader the chance to find out about the lives of the other characters and how they all interlink to the wider story. In one of my favourite segments, Caroline uses the style of a script to tell the story of Delphina, Arthur's love interest. I also like the way the characters are split into four categories - earth, air, water and fire, depending on their relation to the world.

The Drowning of Arthur Braxton is a book that will have you both laughing and crying. I'm looking forward to reading Caroline's next book.

The Drowning of Arthur Braxton is available from your favourite online or offline book retailer. 

The publisher kindly supplied me a copy of this book. 

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