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Book Review - The Radleys

 Saturday, 15 January 2011

*doing a jaunty little dance* Keepin' up with re-view-oos! Keepin' up with re-view-oos! This is something I can do-oo! *jazz hands* Ahem...

Title: The Radleys
Author: Matt Haig
Date: 11/1/2011 AM
Source: Borrowed from Library
Description: Meet the Radleys 
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. (Description taken from Goodreads)

My Review
It's a bizarre thing that I can't quite remember what I expected this book to be like, for some reason I have a vague thought of it being humorous although I don't know where I got this idea. I found this book quite dark at times with some morbidly snarky moments which were quite amusing.

The Radley family is one of those families who looks to be quite normal on the outside but as you get closer just how weird they are becomes apparent. Peter who's trying to resist that which he's denied himself for 17 years, Clara who is trying to be a vegan and because of her family's well-kept secret (so well-kept the children don't know about it) she's feeling really bloody ill, Rowan the eldest child is getting seriously frustrated with his damn allergy to the sun which makes his skin break out in a nasty rash cos it's earning him a *lot* of flak from the cool kids at school and he really wants the new girl Eve to notice him. 

The most outrageous character of the book was Will Radley, the bonafide blood-sucker of the family and a source of extreme discomfort to Helen for reasons unknown. Will was a real bad-ass Byronic sort of guy who really needed to curb his murderous blood-drinking habit. I thought he was rather twisted and unpleasant and potentially a bit unhinged.

In terms of plot I quite liked the idea of these two kids growing up not even knowing they were vampires and I found the history of the Radleys to be fascinating. I enjoyed the story but was kinda under-whelmed by the book as a whole, I don't quite know what it is but thinking about it after the fact I'm feeling kinda "meh" about it. I just wasn't very attached to the characters and for me that can be a deal-breaker with a book that could be otherwise excellent. I know some of the people who have read it recently really liked it but it wasn't all that great for me I'm afraid.

It was a solid read but for me it was not outstanding. Definitely a unique take on the YA Vampire genre and more macabre than most. It's worth a read but unless you're sure I'd stick with a library copy.

My Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 5

I will say that my original rating was 4 stars but I've realised that I'm rather lenient with how often I dole out 4 star ratings so I downgraded this and I shall maybe have an overhaul of my rating system because I think I need to adopt a new method that doesn't have a massive number books with the same "pretty good but not fantastic" rating. If people have any suggestions for Rating Systems I could try then please leave a comment :)

Have a Happy Saturday y'all


Liz Tea 15 January 2011 at 19:58  

I'm actually really intrigued by this book. I've heard it was huge in the UK, and it definitely doesn't look like another run-of-the-mill vampire story. I think I'm definitely checking this one out.

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