Sunday, February 6, 2011

Young Adult Fiction with more depth than most

Like most urban fantasy for young readers, By Midnight from Mia James has the requisite young girl who’s clueless about her creepy new school, the mysterious good-looking boy, parents who are somehow out of the picture and things that go bump in the night.
So far, so boring.
Luckily By Midnight is saved by some actual reality in the form of a murder or two, a mother who can’t cope and a bemused but genuine cop.
James’ writing is also a step above the usual pap that these sorts of books are usually dowsed in. The prose is tight, the action relatively realistic and the characters fairly believable.
The central character April is a pretty normal teen who has been shifted to London by a family move and dumped at a posh school supposedly the only place available.
Her mother and father are busy working, and despite being relatively smart April feels like an outsider compared to her much more glamorous and brilliant school mates.
After a couple of mysterious happenings and a death, April realises that not only is something weird going on at her school, there’s something weird about her family as well.
There will, of course, be a sequel. There probably already is.
This is a good alternative to the other rubbish that’s out there; if only because it’s set in England and not America for a change.

By Midnight by Mia James is published by Orion Books and is available from good book stores and online.


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