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Isabelle, St Bede's Inter-Church School


Beck is a book in four parts. The first part does not make for an enjoyable read. It is, arguably unnecessarily, vulgar and upsetting to read. I did wonder if it might have still worked with a less unnerving and graphic description of events, as I struggle to see what the descriptive detail adds to the narrative. Particularly because, despite being upset by the events, I still found Beck a very hard character to sympathize with through out the novel, and read from the perspective of an impassive outside observer rather than connecting with Beck. In my opinion, the second and third segments were forgettable, Beck was too out of touch with his own feelings for me to engage, I simply couldn't connect.
But in the final segment, the book really came alive for me with the introduction of Grace. She was intelligent and in tune with a wide range of complex feelings, but also at times flawed or confused. In other words she was human, while Beck felt like a plot device, barely reacting to the world around him until he meets Grace.
Whilst reading it I began to wonder if the long book may have been better told only as the final segment, as it seemed to be the story that both the author and I engaged in. Grace meets a mysterious boy in the storm and slowly unravels his backstory, with the rest told in flashback. That is a story I could get behind, the start of the book really did seem necessary, it was Grace who saved this book for me.

Posted on: 17th April 2017 at 07:58 pm

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