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Amelie, St Helen and St Katharine

Where the World Ends

Where the World Ends is a fabulous book about what happens when 9 boys and three men are left stranded on a bleak stack off the coast of Boreray and St Kilda. The reason why they have been abandoned is kept from you until the very end - McCaughrean keeps you well and truly hooked! It is left up to the boys to imagine what might have happened, could it be the end of the World? She uses lots of other little cliffhangers throughout the book, which help to keep you on your toes and wanting to find out what happens next. I thought that the characters were very believable and enjoyed reading the stories within the story that Quill told to the boys to keep them entertained. Quill is the hero and pulls the group together. I wouldn’t naturally have chosen this book because the front cover and synopsis make it look quite dark and eerie. Indeed, it was quite dark (in fact McCaughrean told me that her story evolved into one darker than she originally intended) but all the same I absolutely loved this book. I loved the language, her descriptions of the events and how she made it all seem so real even though she has never even been to St. Kilda or the stack. The story is actually based on a true event and, as unbelievable as it seems, you know it actually happened! McCaughrean uses quite a lot of narration but she also uses dialogue to keep the story moving and had clearly researched fully how her characters should speak and I enjoyed the use of some Scottish words – these added to the reality of the plot and McCaughrean kindly provided a glossary at the end for those of us who don’t speak Scottish! The style was not an ‘easy’ style to read. It was slightly poetic in a way with lots of descriptive, sometimes difficult, words but this made it an exciting challenge to read and all the more enjoyable. McCaughrean was kind enough to talk to me about this book and one of the things that she was most passionate about was the language that she uses. She enjoys euphonious words – ones that sound really lovely. The continuity of the plot was excellent; apparently if she ever does make a mistake her husband spots them! I wouldn’t recommend this book for younger readers because it is quite dark but for teens it makes an excellent challenge, a thought provoking plot and I rate it 10/10 because it is really gripping, exciting and real. It isn’t your average children’s book, but who wants to read average?

Posted on: 19th April 2018 at 09:14 am

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