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Friday 30 April 2010


By Nicola Morgan

You can’t just read this book. You have to experience it. And you will. As you follow Jack and Jess on their journey you’ll feel the rain on your face, taste the salt on the rim of the margarita glass and hear the pure tones of Jess’s voice as she sings.

On one level 'Wasted' is a love story. It’s a tale of how Jess and Jack meet and fall in love, and how external events conspire to make things difficult for them.

On another level it is an exploration of some really sophisticated philosophical and scientific concepts.

‘Jess is spinning a coin. Not actually playing Jack’s game yet, because if you’re going to play you have to be very sure. Heads or tails, win or lose, life or death: playing the game changes things and you can’t escape its rules.’

This opening paragraph leads us into a story with twists and turns and a sustained feeling of not knowing what is going to happen. ‘Because nothing is until it is and until then everything is possible.’

The use of language in this novel is remarkable. It has great clarity and moving beauty at the same time. I love this description of Jess: ‘Her hair is a waterfall of black ice. Her eyes shine.’

I’m not going to say too much about the ending because, as I said before, you really have to experience this book for yourself. Suffice to say, the way Nicola Morgan handles it is a master stroke.

Normally, when I’m reading a book for review I make notes as I go along. With 'Wasted' I didn’t because I was too engrossed. That says it all really.

Reviewed by Helen M Hunt

You can find Nicola’s great publishing-related blog here, and the new Wasted blog here.


Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

I love the sound of this book and will have to go and order it now.

Talli Roland said...

Great review, Helen. This books sounds so amazing and I've heard such good things about it!

HelenMWalters said...

Debs - yes, I think you'll really enjoy this one.

Talli - all the good things you hear are true!

Nicola Morgan said...

You know what, though (and do please call me paranoid) but I'm now convinced that very soon someone is going to get so sick of all the nice things that are being said about Wasted that they will feel obliged to balance it with something negative and bring me right down to earth. Urgh.

Meanwhile, I will try to focus on enjoying the fact that so far it does seem to have done what I really hoped it would. Srtike a chord, make you think, make you see the world a bit as I do.

Actually, I really came over here to say (as I said on Twitter) what an absolutely great review this is, in the sense that it gets under the skin of the book and succinctly shows readers what it's like and what it sets out to do. I think the quotes you picked are just the right ones to explain what you're saying. Clever you!

Anonymous said...

Nonsense, Nicola. I've seen nothing but rave reviews about Wasted all over the internet. I can't wait to read it myself for my review blog and then get others to read it, because it sounds great!

Jenny Beattie said...

Oooh. I've just asked a friend in London to bring a copy back to Bangkok for me! I can't wait.

Nicola Morgan said...

And Talli - you've just won your very own copy on the Wasted blog!!

Anonymous said...

Great book,clever plot.I read it in one sitting. Nicola has weaved her magic in a 'twisted' plot that will keep you riveted to the end. The philosophical insights makes it more intriguing. Helen has written a perfect review highlighting why 'Wasted' is a must-read. Go on buy it now and tell all your friends to get a copy.

Suzanne Ross Jones said...

Sounds like a terrific book - can't wait to read it.

DJ Kirkby said...

Oh I MUST have a copy of this book to add to my already huge TBR pile. Don't tell my husband ;)

Karen said...

Fantastic - I'll definitely be ordering this :o)

Kath McGurl said...

Great review, and definitely sums up the book brilliantly. I've read it and loved it too.