Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Sky writing: Five stars.

Living in Suspension at GoodReads

by Winifred Morris

Genre: YA


A very accomplished YA novel, original, superbly well written and thoroughly gripping. High school misery, oblivious parents, unsuitable friends and, of course, the impossible love are all here, delivered in a fresh and quite literary approach, while the tone and language are still easy reading.

I wonder at how Morris keeps her balance in a work of this nature, which oscillates between the 'real' world (at least, the real world as Sky sees it for most of the book) and the brilliantly presented world of the story that Sky imagines and begins to write for the only class he likes in the school that is slowly killing him. I've read two of Morris's other works (Of Mice and Money, and Bombed), which were both highly entertaining and quite light-hearted, and now I begin to realise how badly I've underestimated her ability.

Winifred Morris has an uncanny gift, not only of a true vision of life as her protagonist but of successfully convincing the reader to see things as that character does. Garrett and Sky are both superb, and most of the minor characters are also clearly defined and convincing. The plot follows an entirely plausible path in the world most readers will recognise as our own, and yet the story is riveting. The pace is excellent, and while I could have wished for a little more to read I think the author has nailed the ending.

One of the finest YA books I've read in the last five years, and an easy five stars.