Friday, 13 September 2013

Split Second by Sophie McKenzie - Review & Guest Post

Summary from Goodreads

Bound together by the devastating consequences of a terrorist attack on a London market, teenagers Charlotte (Charlie) and Nat appear at first to have much in common. But, as Charlie gets closer to Nat and his family, she begins to wonder if perhaps he knows more about the attack than he has let on. Split Second is an action-packed thriller that shifts between the perspectives of its two main characters as their courage and their loyalties are tested to the limit.

Hardcover, 368 pages
Published September 12th 2013 by Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

 Check this book out on Amazon

My Review

Split Second is a powerful book that is tense, thrilling and definitely thought provoking!

Sophie McKenzie writes fantastically, I found myself easily locked into this story, with it's twisty turns and seriously shocking moments! Admittedly I found the first half of the book a little on the slow side, but woah.....the second half blew my mind with it's breakneck pace and blow by blow account of the nail biting action!

The story is told from 2 point of views: Nat and Charlie! Both characters have really strong voices and I clicked with both quite early on. Their paths intertwined because one mindless act of terrorism, that effected both of their lives in a direct way.

It actually took quite a while for the pair to warm to each other, even with the knowledge of their shared past. Something happens that makes Charlie think that Nat knows more about the bomb that destroyed both of their lives.....

I'm trying not to give too much of the plot away, as it would be so easy to do so - so I'll be quiet! ;)

I love that this storyline is so real and relevant to what is happening in toady's society - it's actually scary! What I also really liked was the bond that the pair formed as the pages went by.

Split Second is a highly charged, action packed, twisty story that packs a BIG punch! The writing is spot on and the second half in particular is mind bending! Everything is very tense and I loved watching these 2 courageous characters fight for survival. A terrifyingly realistic version of the future that will have readers everywhere on the edge of their seats! Bring on the next book already!

4 / 5 Stars

*Special thanks to Simon & Schuster for the review copy*

About Sophie McKenzie
(Taken from her website)

Sophie was born and brought up in London, where she still lives with her teenage son. She has worked as a journalist and a magazine editor, but fell in love with writing after being made redundant and enrolling in a creative writing course. She burst into the publishing world with Girl, Missing her debut novel (published 2006), which tallied up numerous award wins nationwide, including the Richard and Judy Best Kids’ Books 2007 (12+ category), The Red House Book Award and The Manchester Children’s Book Award. She was also longlisted for the Branford Boase award, which commends debut authors, and the coveted Carnegie Medal. 

Sophie McKenzie on a favourite childhood read

To be honest, I didn't have a favourite read as a child - I loved lots of stories. And when I became a teenager I stopped reading altogether for a while, because I couldn’t find any books with teen characters I could relate to. Thankfully, there’s a lot more choice for young readers out there now.

One book I did love – and kept coming back to – was Little Women, by Louisa M Alcott. I really related to the main character: clumsy, impulsive, aspiring writer Jo. I have one brother and I used to think it would be great to have grown up with three sisters, like she does.

Little Women is a drama with a bit of romance. Its focus is almost entirely domestic: an exploration of the hopes and dreams of its young characters and their relationships. Put like that it sounds a million miles away from Split Second, which is a thriller about terrorism, set in a contemporary Britain riven by riots and cuts. But at its heart, Split Second is also about teenagers caught up in powerful events – and how the relationship between them develops as a result.

I always say that story is king, that the most important element in any book is a strong narrative. This is true, but a strong story won’t work without compelling characters. The sisters in Little Women – Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy - felt real to me when I was reading them, just as Nat and Charlie in Split Second felt real as I wrote them.

Little Women taught me that books work best when the main characters face plenty of action that moves the story along. The action of Split Second might come from a different world, but the same principle still applies!

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