cuckoo

Review: Cuckoo by Keren David

Cuckoo
Cuckoo by Keren David

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s been a while since I read Cuckoo (I read it during YALC weekend!) but I’ve been way behind on my reviewing due to a job offer(!) and trying to pack up to move house…

Cuckoo is the story of Jake, an actor in Market Square, the country’s hottest soap. Except he’s pretty much been dropped, and his family are suffering from the lack of income. His dad’s angrier, and Jake’s autistic brother Adam can be difficult to deal with – and then Jake finds out none of the money he’s earned over the years has been saved. Soon, he finds himself homeless – hidden at first, couchsurfing on all his friend’s sofas, and then on the street.

The first thing I should probably mention is the format of this book – it’s fairly short, split into short chapters which are each the script of an individual video. The book is Jake telling his story through the medium of vlogging, and there are comments at the end of each chapter. It’s a really unique format, and after reading another scriptbook this month (Cursed Child), this actually does work – there are enough characters in each chapter, each with a unique voice, that it really is effortless to read.

As someone who has an autistic sibling, I thought the character of Adam was dealt with particularly well. I think it’s easy when writing autistic characters to slip into constant tropes, and I didn’t think this happened here.

If you’re looking for something truly unique (especially in format, which was particularly innovative), and a quick read for summer that tackles some difficult issues, look no further than Cuckoo by Keren David.

View all my reviews

YALC Reading List Part 5!

It’s Part 5 of the YALC Reading List!

You can find parts one, two, three and four on the other side of those links.

The YALC Reading List is published every Sunday evening, but I am currently on a semi-official hiatus (thesis writing!) until the 10th June, so the next few parts may be slightly delayed…

Let’s get started, shall we?

natasha-carthew20617991

36. Natasha Carthew

Book to read: Winter Damage / The Light That Gets Lost

Natasha’s first novel Winter Damage was nominated for the 2014 Carnegie medal and shortlisted for other awards, including the Branford Boase award. Her second novel, The Light That Gets Lost, was released in October last year, and focuses on a small boy who witnesses his parents’ murder, and years later, ends up at a camp for troubled teenagers. Unfortunately, both of these books have Goodreads ratings in the 2-3 stars range – it appears these books are a real love-em-or-hate-em deal, with an interesting style of prose that some people can’t get through. I try not to read anything with a Goodreads rating less than 3.5, so I think I’ll be giving these a miss.

37. Cat Clarke

Book to read: The Lost and the Found

Cat Clarke has win the Lancashire Book award, the Redbridge Teen award, and was nominated for the Branford Boase award. Her latest novel, The Lost and the Found, came out last July, and is about a girl, Faith, whose sister was abducted at a young age, and whose abduction took over her family’s life. When her sister returns, Faith becomes isolated and paranoid. This book sounds really interesting, so definitely an addition to my TBR list.

38. Keren David

Book to read: Cuckoo

This book is a slightly different addition to the YALC reading list because it comes out on August 4th, but I’m hoping there will be copies of this at YALC (to get signed!). Cuckoo is the story of a boy, Jake, who is a household name due to his starring role in a soap, but whose character has been off air for a while. With family life hitting boiling point (with a father with anger issues, a severely autistic brother and the family finances in bad shape), Jake doesn’t feel like he fits in anywhere. This is one I am definitely looking forward to!

39. Ben Davis

Book to read: The Private Blog of Joe Cowley series

Apparently an older version of Wimpy Kid, these books look really funny, written as the blog of 14-year-old Joe Cowley, who wants to draw comics, and is a self-confessed ‘serial repeller of girls’. These books look like the encapsulate what it feels like to be a weird teenage boy (something I guess I have no experience of).

40. Juno Dawson

Book to read: Mind Your Head

Juno was one of my personal highlights of last year’s YALC in her fabulous Daenerys Targaryen outfit, and I’m so glad she’ll be in residence once again this year. Mind Your Head (review here) and Spot the Difference (review here) have been great reads this year – Mind Your Head is a non-fiction guide to mental health and being a teenager, whereas Spot the Difference is a fiction novella about a girl with severe acne. I’ve been meaning to dive into Juno’s other books (written as James Dawson) so will perhaps pick up one or two at YALC.

41. Catherine Doyle

Book to read: Vendetta/Inferno

The Blood for Blood trilogy (third book coming soon) has rave reviews on GoodReads and has been described as Romeo & Juliet meets The Godfather, set in modern day Chicago. Vendetta is on my TBR shelf (along with pretty much every YA book ever) but after reading some amazing reviews, I think it needs to be bumped up a few spots. As well as (apparently) being gritty, funny, and full of warring families and forbidden romance, the covers of these books are also to die for.

42. Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

I remember Tom and Lucy from last year’s YALC – Lucy is a school librarian and Tom is a journalist. They also used to date. Their first novel together, Lobsters, is about two friends, Sam and Hannah, trying to find their ‘lobster’ i.e. The One, whereas Never Evers, their second novel, is about a French ski resort, where Mouse goes after being kicked out of ballet academy, and where Jack stands in for a famous popstar who happens to be the spitting image of him. Both these books have good reviews, so I’ll probably pick up one or the other soon.

43. Natasha Farrant

Book to read: Lydia, the Bad Bennet girl

Natasha Farrant’s newest novel is a re-imagining of Pride & Prejudice (which I really should get reading, now to think of it), focusing on Lydia, the youngest Bennet sister. This book is out in September, so I’m hoping for some early copies floating around YALC!

That’s it for this week’s installment in the YALC Reading List!

Which books are you planning on reading? Which books should I definitely pick up? Tweet me at @annalisebooks or comment below!

Annalise x