Wow that was quick! We only got the books on Friday and we ALREADY have a fabulous review of Beck by Mal Peet & Meg Rosoff – Admin
I found this novel really fascinating; it is written by one of my favourite authors Meg Rosoff who wrote ‘How I live now’ which is so brilliant (and is also up there with one of the best film adaptions) and Mal Peet who sadly died (it is worth reading the afterword of the book about the two – it made me cry).
Although this book included some quite disturbing themes that are quite hard to read and think about– such as the Catholic Church scandals in some detail, I actually found this book really inspiring and quite uplifting – something I wasn’t suspecting. I was tempted to put this book down at about 40 pages in because the subjects were quite difficult for me and they understandably made me feel quite uncomfortable, but I was brave and carried on reading – which was the right thing to do!! It developed into this remarkable piece of work which instead of making me feel anxious like it did at the beginning, began to make me feel really calm.
In the book we learn about a boy called Beck who endures so much pain in his life predominantly due to the colour of his skin. We see his character grow in age and emotionally, battling the hardships of life in different places around the world, trying to find something better than what he had experienced prior in his life. We see his journey, which I felt like I almost became a part of.
I just loved it! I don’t know whether it was the gorgeous choice of words the authors’ chose, or the tragic but beautiful plot of finding love and home that made me feel refreshed, but it does honestly put life in perspective for a little while.
The one thing that I didn’t particularly like though was the use of swearing. I have nothing against using swear words in writing, they usually add more emotion to the book, but in this case I feel like it did the opposite. Reading some of the lines which included this type of language made me wince, I genuinely cringed at some of it because a lot of the time it wasn’t even necessary – it may be a statement or a reflection of life in the 1920’s/30’s, or character or race/culture, but even so I am not a fan.
But besides this criticism, this book is fantastic, truly eye opening…the ending in particular! I read this in two days – I didn’t really put it down all weekend and I’m so glad.
I BEG YOU TO PERSEVERE WITH THE BOOK, THE BEGINNING IS ODD AND QUITE TRAUMATIC, BUT IT IS TOTALLY WORTH BEING BRAVE AND CONTINUING BECAUSE IT IS WORTH IT IN THE END.