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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.