02 February 2017

Book Review: Crash, J.A. Henderson


Title: Crash
Author: J.A. Henderson
Published: 01/04/2008, Oxford University Press
Pages: 293
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback

Rating: 3/5

"Who the hell is Dodd Pollen?

Bobby Berlin needs to find out. Because his father has woken up convinced he's a teenager with that name. He thinks the year is 1977 and, for reasons he can't explain, he's obsessed with getting to the Tay Bridge.

But the journey to the bridge turns into a terrible ordeal for Bobby. His father's behaviour is increasingly sinister and the events unfolding around them are as mystifying as they are horrific.

Bobby Berlin has GOT to get rid of Dodd Pollen.

Before Dodd Pollen gets rid of HIM."

Crash is yet another re-read from my early-teen years. Strangely enough, I didn't actually remember too much of the story so, in a way, it sort of felt like I was reading it for the first time again.

I found Crash a very original, jam-packed and fast-paced YA thriller. Being just under 300 pages, it is a very quick read and I did enjoy it.

Now, the setting for Crash felt so unbelievably realistic to me. This book is set between Fife and Dundee, in Scotland. I live roughly 15 minutes away from Dundee, and I even work in the city, so I thought it was so unique to be reading a story set so close to home. It actually felt strange in a way. I rarely get the chance to read books set in Scotland, never mind 15 minutes from my house.

I found the characters okay. I didn't really find them relatable, though, but of course, they are 10 years younger than me. I do think that the characterisation of both Bobby and Mary is very good. They actually act like 14-year-olds. They are mature enough to know when they need adult help, even if they don't always look for it.

Crash is told from various perspectives, including Bobby, Mary and Baba Rana amongst many others. The chapters are also very short. I think this really increase the pace of the story and ups the suspensefulness of the book. I didn't want to put Crash down.

Crash has so many little sub-plots and it was pretty difficult to keep up with everything at times. I was confused through a lot of the story (yes, even during a re-read!). However, I think this adds to the suspense and the different plots do all tie together nicely in the end and sort of make sense. But, I'm still not sure what caused Gordon Berlin to take up the persona of Dodd Pollen, though it is sort of explained.

Despite my confusion and not clicking with the characters, I did find Crash an enjoyable read. I think I would recommend Crash to those in their early teens and fans of suspenseful YA.

(At the time of writing my review, I noticed that signed copies of J.A. Henderson's books, including Crash, are on sale on his website.)

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  1. Awesome Review, I enjoy books that are complicated but would get so frustrated if I feel like I didn't grasp everything by the end. I rarely re-read but its always surprising what you could discover with a re-read!
    Tori @ In Tori Lex

    1. Thanks! Yeah I tend to get a bit frustrated too if things get to complicated. I love finding new discoveries in re-reads too. There's always something you miss.


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