October 6th 2011
London, 1976: a summer of chaos, punk, love ...and the boy they called Billy the Kid. It was the summer of so many things. Heat and violence, love and hate, heaven and hell. It was the time I met William Bonney - the boy from Belfast known as Billy the Kid. I've kept William's secrets for a long time, but now things have changed and I have to tell the truth. But I can't begin until I've told you about Curtis Ray. Hip, cool, rebellious Curtis Ray. Without Curtis, there wouldn't be a story to tell. It's the story of our band, of life and death ...and everything in between. This characteristically gripping novel from award-winning author Kevin Brooks will rock you to the core.
Okay, guys, I'm kinda a little bit in love with this book. It's the first Kevin Brooks book I've and WOW. It was bloody good. And so up my street. I've always been really interested with the punk scene, and I've always known a lot about it (my mum was a bit of a punk/goth back in the day) so as soon as I heard about this book, I leapt at the chance to read it. And even from the first paragraph, I could tell that me and this book were going to get along.
The story is told by Lili, a woman reminiscing on the summer when she was 17, the summer of 1976, and her voice is so believable, and so realistic, as are all of the characters, really. I'd just finished reading a paranormal before I read this, and the juxtaposition (yeah, I know big words ;p) between this and that was unbelievable. It was really interesting to see the difference between the realism of the two. The whole tone of the book was so different, and sometimes I just love to read something so real and utterly believable.
I really adored the setting of the book too. I know for a fact that most of the people and places (apart from the main characters) in this book were real (still are real...) and I loved how seamlessly he integrated this band and these people into the time and the place, like hearing passing mention of Malcom McLaren and Vivenne Westwood, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, all these punk legends, you know? I loved that, so, so much.
And I really liked the whole IRA plotline too. It was really interesting to hear about Williams tragic past, and the end made me cry. A lot. Yeah, I know I'm a sap and all, but it was sad! It was a tiny bit heartbreaking! And I loved all of it. I haven't read a book that's made me cry in ages, and the worst thing about it was that these people had become real to me, you know? They were so well written and realistic that I felt like I knew them. They were so three dimensional, and the whole situation was so plausible, and that's why it hurt. I also like all the IRA stuff because I KNOW that it's gonna be a great help to me when I start doing Northern Ireland in history... Yay learning!
Naked was a fabulous book that I hope loads of people will pick up and read, and although it's the not the got the fastest pace, or the most riveting love story (though it was pretty good), everything about it was just right for it. You know, those books? That just WORK. Yeah. Ya'll should read this.