An Adventure Book Review by Erin the Cat Princess©
Hello, and welcome to my Saturday Book Review featuring Adventures in Middle-Grade Fiction!
This week we have the pleasure of reviewing the second book by Elle McNicoll, called Show Us Who You Are. You will recall last week we reviewed A Kind of Spark (a link to that story is HERE).
This book features Cora and Adrien, aged twelve.
SHOW US WHO YOU ARE, by ELLE MCNICOLL
Published by: KNIGHTS OF.
Cover artwork by KAY WILSON
Paperback ISBN: 978 - 1 - 9133111 - 3 -1
Cover price for Paperback £6.99 (or cheaper)
Age range: 8 and upwards
No spoilers alerts.
When 12-year-old Cora's brother, Gregor, insists she goes to his boss's party, it's fair to say she isn't keen. She certainly isn't looking to make new friends. Strange people in a strange place, it's not her thing. More masking and getting stressed. The party is for his son, Adrien, a boy she never even knew existed until a short while before.
There's an ulterior motive for her being at the party, but more on that in a moment. Having been ushered away from the noisy party and adults, Cora is sent out into the garden to find the birthday boy, Adrien. After knocking him down, thinking he was about to attack her, Cora soon finds Adrien is a rather unusual boy. Homeschooled because of his ADHD, Adrien is intelligent, witty and fun to be around. He has a really great dog, a mixed breed called Cerby, to whom he is devoted. Much to his father's annoyance.
The two kids strike it off, and Adrien tells of his life with ADHD, and Cora explains about being autistic. They are, Adrien explains, the same. Their minds are different from everyone else.
The actual reason for Adrien's father inviting Cora to the party was to get her help in his work. His company, the Pomegranate Institute, uses high tech to create AI holographic copies of people. These will be stored and can interact with people, for a fee. This to Cora, who recently lost her mother, seems terrific. The ability to talk and resolve things that couldn't be said in a person's life, to speak with the rich and famous, or for the AI to do mundane jobs seems magical and a dream come true.
Or is it?
Adrien is against his fathers work. He hates it and had the weeks-long barrage of questions fired at him that ultimately shaped the AI hologram of himself. Cora's father is against it, too, even though he misses his wife intensely. To him, it is wrong.
Who is right?
Battling against emotions and ethics, an event takes place that will shape what happens next in the story and make Cora agree to participate in Pomegranate's research. But there is a dark secret lurking just below the glossy pristine surface of Pomegranate and its staff, one that changes everything once more for Cora. Now the race is on to expose the truth. . . .
So, what did we think?
Stunning. Such a wonderfully creative, emotional, and thought-provoking adventure. It was a book that we really didn't want to put down. In the nicest possible way, it demands that the reader takes note and makes choices. It informs and challenges ideas, beliefs, ethics and, dare I say it, prejudices also.
Mrs H and I didn't see the villain of the piece coming. We cried and laughed and then cried some more. What's more, we celebrated Adrien and Cora's differences. Life is, after all, a celebration of all things, all creatures and people, no matter the differences. And make no mistake, we are all different or diverse (none more so than Mrs H, but don't tell her I said that) and as a result, all very special (you can tell Mrs H that I said that!).
So . . . .
This is Elle's second novel, and she has crafted another mould-breaking story. An absolute must-read. Adult or child, this is one of those books that I think all would enjoy and would have benefitted from being around years ago.
Elle's new book, Like a Charm, a magical adventure set in the atmospheric and historic city of Edinburgh, is out in February. We will be reviewing this as soon as we can get hold of a copy.
Till then, please do come back for more Adventures in Middle-Grade reading.
Want to buy a copy?
To get copy, please do consider your local independent bookshop first.
I cannot stress enough how important both they and small independant publishers like Nights Of publishing (who published this book) are to the whole eco system of really cool books.
Books like this, that have brought undoubted pleasure and helped
and informed tens of thousands, would not have existed without them.
Elle McNicoll's web page can be found HERE. https://ellemcnicoll.com/
Nights Of web page can be found HERE. http://knightsof.media/
If any authors, publishers wish us to review their books, please do get in touch. Details are listed on our book review page.
And now, for all our fans, here is a picture of me contemplating the latest WORDLE game. Notice the furrowed expression in the duvet!
|Sleepy Wordle Erin ©Erin the cat princess.|
If any authors or publishers wish us to review their books, please do get in touch. Details are listed on our book review page.