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The drip-fed chocolate, hatred of sports and loss of her partner-in-crime have taken their toll on Liv, leaving her fat, unfit and best-friendless. Add in a wicked tongue, lack of boyfriend and mortal enemy determined to destroy her, and you’re pretty much up to speed.

 

Liv’s life isn’t a complete pity party: Jude, sporting superstar, and Kat, Irish songbird, have her back. And her front, when it’s not bursting out of a blouse two sizes too small. As they prepare for the school show and looming exams, Ray explodes on the scene, taking no prisoners.

 

Every girl wants a piece of the new boy in class, but wheelchair-bound Ray chooses Liv’s group with devastating results. Jude’s ice-skating enchants him, Liv calls him a cripple and even gentle Kat falls for his charms as he hams up Shakespeare in their English class. His presence threatens their life-long friendship, but Liv is convinced he hides a dark secret.

 

Our review......

New Kid In Town might be aimed at teenagers, but like all good books, it will appeal to anyone who has a sense of humour and an ear for the ironic. Gray's dialogue is consistently sharp and snappy, and her eclectic mix of characters prove well pitched. It might not break any moulds but what sets her latest release apart from its many competitors in the YA genre is that not only does it have a surprisingly edgy and intelligent narrative, it also offers a group of main characters who are all capable of holding a reader’s interest on their own. On this level it makes for a curious delight and seems at times that Gray must have had her ear wired to the high school community as she captures the essence of teen-speak, especially its glib jibes and prickly put- downs, so well that you feel as if you're eavesdropping.

 

A step change from Gray's popular Hengist series, but never the less an enjoyable  read, New Kid In Town is definitely recommended.

Liv, Jude and Kat are greater than the sum of their parts. Separately they are Brainy, Sporty and Arty. Together they are invincible. Until Drop-Dead-Gorgeous Ray wheels up.

 

New Kid In Town - Bryant Rockwell #1

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