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When Isla meets Luke meets Isla
by Rhian Tracey 1746/829 first published 2003
Real Life Drama for ages 12 to 16 published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Available from:  Amazon.co.uk
* £4.79, usually dispatched within 4 to 5 days.
Mrs Mad's humble opinion
7/10 This is quite a good piece of work.
What's it about?
Moving through the teenage years towards adulthood.
What happens?
Isla and her family are forced to move away from their home in Scotland to Maidstone, to look after her grandmother's business. At fourteen Isla finds this all very difficult and unfair. In her new school she has some trouble settling in because people cannot understand her accent, but gradually she settles and her friendship with Luke grows deeper. When an earth shattering tragedy hits her family it is to Luke that she turns for comfort.
Is it easy to read?
This book is written from two points of view, that of Isla and Luke. Isla's parts are written in Scottish dialect. So it is a little confusing and takes some getting used to.
Anything else?
I think I struggled with the Scottish dialect parts of this book. I found it disconcerting to jump from one language dialect to another. I spent too much time working out exactly what she was saying and probably didn't concentrate on the story enough. I also found that I didn't feel I really got to know the two lead characters until well on into the book. In fact it was only when the tragedy happened that I felt any empathy with either of them at all. That part of the book was written incredibly well, I was moved to tears as the realisation of what she was being told, hit Isla, but on the whole I didn't get hooked by this story. Having said that I would recommend it to teenage readers because I think the concept of writing in different dialects is interesting and also because it is a well written book. I will definitely be looking out for Rhian Tracey's next offering.
Other books by Rhian Tracey include Isla and Luke: make or Break?.
Who says so?
This review by Mrs Mad.
The publisher reckons...
'I didna want to leave really. I wanted to push the red emergency button like they have on trains to stop and you have to pay a fifty pound fine if you didna mean it. I wanted to make the pilot turn the plane around. I wanted to go back to ma school. I didn't even know what Maidstone looked like. It sounded grey. Grey, dull and dreary. No music, no Castle, no Firth of Forth, no Lucy, no Helen, no Saturdays into Princes Street on the bus for [pound]1, we get on for half... I folded ma arms, arranging ma face into a permanent sulk with a clear 'No Entry' sign on it.' Isla moves down with her parents from Scotland to England and instantly feels herself in an alien land. But then she meets Luke and slowly their friendship blossoms into love. Each chapter reveals the alternate viewpoints of Isla and Luke - Isla the motormouth, Luke more measured. With the potential to appeal to both boys and girls, this is a brilliant first novel from a very talented author, also a teacher, who was discovered on the 'slush' pile.
And what do you think?
as this was chosen in the telegraph by william leith as one of the best teen books published this year I don"t think many people struggled with the dialect, I certainly didn"t find it hard, I really enjoyed it.
Danielle A, Magdalen College School
I think that this book is amazing. i really enjoyed the way that the book was shared between Isla and Luke. It was really good to see how they both felt about the events that happened. I like the way that their friendship blossomed and the way that they More...
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