Lucas by Kevin Brooks
From School Library Journal Grade 9 Up-This beautifully written allegorical tale by the author of Martyn Pig (Scholastic, 2002) stays with readers long after it ends. Set on an isolated island off Great Britain, the novel has it all-love, hate, sin, forgiveness and redemption, and a memorable title character. As Caitlin, 15, relates the events of the previous summer, she recalls with crystal clarity the moment when the mysterious boy appeared out of nowhere. His arrival precipitates a series of incidents that exposes the ugly underbelly of the seemingly idyllic setting. Lucas, 16, is enigmatic and direct, and has the uncanny ability to read people and predict their actions. He lives off the land, and doesn't seem to want or need anyone. The locals don't understand him, and they see him as a threat. Lucas rescues Caitlin from being raped by Jamie, a seemingly upstanding college guy who, with his gang of rowdy, beer-drinking buddies, spreads rumors and innuendos about the stranger. The situation rapidly escalates into an accusation of attempted murder after one of the island girls is brutally attacked. A group of residents abandons rational thought and becomes a senseless mob, seeking vigilante justice. The writing is extraordinarily lyrical. The often-dreamlike quality of island life is juxtaposed with the ever-present threat of violence like the calm before a storm. All of the characters are sharply defined. Lucas, with his mixture of real and unearthly qualities, is unique and unforgettable. This is a powerful book to be savored by all who appreciate fine writing and a gripping read. Sharon Rawlins, Piscataway Public Library, NJ
I was totally engrossed in this YA Fiction novel about a free-spirited boy who suddenly "appears" on a remote island off of Great Britain. Islanders don't take kindly to strangers, so Lucas' landing on the island causes a great commotion. Cait McCann first spots Lucas walking alongside the road, carrying his belongings in a green canvas bag. Cait is riding in the car with her father and her brother, Dom, whom they have just picked up at the airport. When their car passes Lucas, Cait's eyes meet his. She knows that something is going to change. The summer that lies ahead of her will be different than any other summer she has ever experienced.
I don't read a lot of YA Fiction, but I do want to check out Kevin Brooks' other books. I love his style of writing. I had a perfect picture in my head of the characters, of the island, and of Lucas and Cait. Their relationship, albeit strange, is a wonderful new experience for Cait. She knows that she has met someone special and her life will never be the same.
"Lucas" keeps its pace, and keeps you guessing what is going to happen next. The characters are real and likable (some of them, that is) and the story will sweep you up into the island community and living on the coast; the sea and sand, the hot sunny summer days and the violent thunderstorms; and of Cait and Lucas and Cait's dog Deefer, who is also an important character in this story.
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Chicken House Ltd (March 6, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1905294174
- ISBN-13: 978-1905294176