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I was recommended this book by a fellow student in a creative writing class, and although I thought the idea - a modern day Adam and Eve - was a bit clichéd, I still picked it up as it sounded interesting. This Adam and Eve are teenagers in Middlesbrough. Eve plans to be a glamour model when she's older and spends her weekends taking drugs and having sex, trying to take her mind off her mum's lung cancer. Adam is an obsessive compulsive who falls for Eve but is a very different kind of person, and expects more from Eve than she turns out to be.
Having read it, I have mixed feelings about this book. Adam and Eve are characterised very well, and were realistic although I ultimately felt alienated from them as I was a very different kind of teenager (no social life). However the style does get a bit irritating in places - the chapter narrated by street lights and the almost unreadable chapter by dyslexic character Debbie are examples - I didn't expect this as one of the cover reviews describes it as "unpretentious"!
I did enjoy reading this book and it was well written, just a little over the top in places, and not as ground-breaking as the blurb and cover reviews make out. It's only 200 pages long, not a heavy going read, and I would recommend it.
I loved this book from start to finish. It's shocking, dramatic and lots of other things as well but one thing is certain it is realistic. I've worked in the area the book is set and knew the school mentioned quite well, and it is accurate narrative from my experiences. In fact, if you were to go to any area of high deprivation and poverty in the UK and you'd be greeted with similar scenarios.
Okay, enough about the setting. Move on to the characters. Adam and Eve are truly brilliant and how good to link it to the bibical references from the Garden of Eden. However in this case Eden is not all its cracked up to be. At no point did I feel that Richard Milward was trying to be smug with the characters - I really felt he was trying to portray what he would have known about children like that from his own area. It's a sad representation of life for some school children.
The cover work is fabulous, well done those designers. Equally as big a well done to Richard Milward for writing this book at 19 years old. I can't praise this book enough for it's style, honesty, brutality and scope.