The Radleys by Matt Haig
Genre: urban fantasy
About The Radleys:
Meet the RadleysSource: Info in the About The Radleys was taken from the author's website at http://matthaig.com/theradleys.htm on 12/06/2010.
Peter, Helen and their teenage children, Clara and Rowan, live in an English town. They are an everyday family, averagely dysfunctional, averagely content. But as their children have yet to find out, the Radleys have a devastating secret.
From one of Britain's finest young novelists comes a razor-sharp unpicking of adulthood and family life. In this moving, thrilling and extraordinary portrait of one unusual family, The Radleys asks what we grow into when we grow up, and explores what we gain – and lose – when we deny our appetites.
The author utilized a writing style where every other page is a chapter. Maybe this is fun to write, but it is annoying to read. Having said that, once I got over my irritation, the story flowed right well! The author did not just give me likeable characters, he gave me friends, if only in my head. One gotta give somebody like that some kudos!
This book is chuck full of lessons to be learned. One that jumps out at me is that, "lying is never good, no matter the good intentions". It has the tendency of coming back and bite you in the ass. I am also a firm believer that one can be true to oneself and still be honest no matter how contradictory these two concepts might be! And that is the central dilemma of this book. Very good lesson indeed, and one generally ignored by many. The ending unexpectedly resolved the central dilemma... can't give out spoilers, now can I? :)
Another feature about this book which is quite prominent to me as a reader is that, it is so contemporary. As in, the settings descriptions in the book is sooo commonplace that I can see it in my sorroundings everyday that I no longer see it. Until I read it in this book. The author obviously lived in the UK.
The cover art seriously needs a "fantasy" artistic input! Whilst having bucketfuls of meaning, it has zero market value. It is so not attractive to my fantasy buff eyes at all... and to be able to buy a book, it gotta get my attention first. This is an urban fantasy book. So to get the urban fantasy readers to read it, you gotta catch their attention. That's where the cover art comes in. And this one gets the "so-not-buy-me" award.
Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. I would read another Matt Haig offering again.
Character development = 4
Ending = 4
Story-telling quality = 3.5
World building = 3.5
Cover art = 1
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries
I would like to thank Walker Books Ltd. for the review copy of The Radleys by Matt Haig received!!