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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Book Review: The Knife That Killed Me by Anthony McGowan

Happy Release Day for The Knife That Killed Me!!

The Knife That Killed Me by Anthony McGowan
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Release Date: Available Now
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 224
Source: Received from publicist for honest review

Summary: Paul Vanderman could be at any normal high school where bullies, girls, and annoying teachers are just part of life. But “normal” doesn’t apply when it comes to the school’s biggest bully, Roth—a twisted and threatening thug with an evil agenda. When Paul ends up delivering a message from Roth to the leader of a gang at a nearby school, it fuels a rivalry with immediate consequences. Paul attempts to distance himself from the feud, but somehow Roth keeps finding reasons for him to stick around. Then one day Roth hands him a knife. And even though Paul is scared, he has never felt so powerful.

My Review: The Knife That Killed Me was a gripping, unmistakably tragic story of a teenager spiraling down the wrong path. Paul, the protagonist, was a typical high school student that dealt with normal everyday issues until he started hanging out with the wrong crowd. His school was divided between two type of "gangs." One gang was run by the school's biggest threat and bully, Roth. His violent demeanor was intimidating and sick. Roth found physical pain to be pleasant and encouraged fighting to his followers. Meanwhile, the other "gang" kept to themselves and promoted friendship instead of evil. Around the school they were known as the "freaks" since they were quiet and didn't start trouble, there leader Shane was one of my favorite characters. He was so goodhearted and truly cared about his group. I admired the way he carried himself and how respectful he was to Paul when he first befriended him.

In my eyes Paul was a lost soul. He was bound to make a mistake because he couldn't see who his true allies really were. Unfortunately, he started hanging out with Roth and his crew and that's when his life took a turn for the worst. I was disappointed in Paul's choice of friends, however, he was a bit gullible and too much inside his head to focus. There were times where he would ramble and lose himself in memories. Luckily for Anthony's writing it was easy to keep up with Paul's mind. The parts of the book that stood out to me were the one page paragraphs after some of the chapters. In those paragraphs the reader is presented with a flash-forward of the moment before the knife reaches Paul in the rivalry fight. It was insightful and it helped me connect with the emotions he was feeling at the moment. Overall, an interested story with an unforgettable ending.

My Rating:
Author's Info:
Anthony McGowan was born in Manchester in 1965. He went to school in Leeds. He has an M.Phil in philosophy and a PhD on the history of the concept of beauty. He has worked as a nightclub bouncer, civil servant, and Open University tutor in philosophy. He now lives in London. He is married to the fashion designer and novelist Rebecca Campbell. They have two young children. He is the author of two adult thrillers, Stag Hunt and Mortal Coil, published by Hodder & Stoughton, and three young adult novels Hellbent, Henry Tumour and The Knife That Killed Me, published by Random House. He has also written The Bare Bum Gang series for 7-11 year olds, again published by Random House.

For more info on Anthony visit his site(s):
Website: http://www.anthonymcgowan.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/anthony_mcgowan
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Anthony-McGowan/771664531

Other books by Anthony:
-Jack Tumor
-Hell Bent
-Stag Hunt
-Mortal Coil

Go here for further books...

Check out this video of Anthony talking about The Knife That Killed Me:


CymLowell

12 comments:

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Great review :D

Kelsey said...

This does sound good! I'll have to check it out- you've especially got me curious about the ending :P

Kris (Voracious YAppetite) said...

I totally want to read this book. This is one of my fave reviews of yours yet. I think I'd really like the flashforward post-chapter paragraphs. It's cool when authors add something unique to their writing, like Maggie did with Shiver. Great review E!

Ladybug said...

This was a great review, Eleni! I think I'm putting this on my wishlist(bought too many books this month already).

librarypat said...

An important lesson to learn, hopefully secondhand.
It sounds like a good book. Will see about getting our library to order it.

The Graef Family! said...

Great review. I've never heared of this book or the author. I think I will have to go and get this book. It sounds really good! Thanks!

blueicegal said...

nice review eleni :) i cant believe i forgot about this, i remember reading this book it really makes you think, thanks for this im going to back track on it right now :P

blueicegal said...

nice review eleni :) i cant believe i forgot about this, i remember reading this book it really makes you think, thanks for this im going to back track on it right now :P

blueicegal said...

nice review eleni :) i cant believe i forgot about this, i remember reading this book it really makes you think, thanks for this im going to back track on it right now :P

blueicegal said...

nice review eleni :) i cant believe i forgot about this, i remember reading this book it really makes you think, thanks for this im going to back track on it right now :P

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

Great review. I've seen this book around the blogosphere a bit, but this is the first review I've read on it. It certainly sounds like a tragic story and the cover really pops. I'll have to be on the lookout for this now.

Diana Dang said...

Great review thanks!

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