Two for Tuesday – Novels-in-verse

I was lucky enough to hear Louise Reid speak at one of The Book Taster’s live events and this led me to her books. However, I am ashamed to say that ‘Wrecked’ and ‘Gloves Off’ sat on my shelves for a little while before I picked them up (although you can find my post about ‘The Poet’ on my blog). However, I picked ‘Wrecked’ up and that immediately made me pick ‘Gloves Off’ to follow.

‘Wrecked’ is a heartbreaking YA novel-in-verse. I have actually thought about it every day since I finished it, and once I finished it, I needed a few minutes to just absorb it all. This novel takes the story of boyfriend and girlfriend, Joe and Imogen, and we meet them after they have been involved in a fatal car accident, which appears to be Joe’s fault. We follow Joe as he faces his trial for dangerous driving; the story moves between the present and the past as we discover the events that led to that fatal night.

The emotions in this book are intense, as the relationship between Imogen and Joes is slowly unpicked. Is it really love’s young dream, as Joe believes it is? Or are there cracks that could wreck not just Joe’s life, but those of his family and friends, too? I really do not want to reveal too much about this book, as I do not feel that I can do it justice. However, I will say that it is an emotional rollercoaster presented in verse, beautifully constructed with clever presentation on the page that reflects some of the events and emotions that are being presented. You are really invested in this book from the moment you start reading, and I could not put it down – and it will stay with me for a long time.

And this took me straight to ‘Gloves Off’…

Louisa Reid is not afraid to tackle some tough subjects in her books, and ‘Gloves Off’ is no exception. Again, verse is used in this book to tell to the story of Lily and her family. Lily is badly bullied at school and her safe place is with her family at home, although her mum, Bernadette, has her own struggles and worries that she is to blame for what is happening to Lily. However, simultaneously, mother and daughter begin a journey to transform from who they are into better versions of themselves.

After a particularly nasty incident, Lily’s dad introduces her to boxing to support her in being able to fight back. And that does not mean physically, necessarily, but to allow her to have the confidence to fight back. At the same time, Bernadette begins to fight back against the thing that has held her back, dealing with the shame from comments made to her about her appearance. Both journeys that the characters go on allow them to see life as something that is beautiful, and gives them both a second chance to show the bullies that they are not going to be held back any longer.

This was another page-turner for me that I could not put down, as it was just so stunningly constructed, and I want to support Lily in her fight against those who were holding her back.

I cannot praise these books enough, especially if you are a fan of novels-in-verse and powerful stories that will steal a piece of your heart. Do not get me wrong, there are some tough topics tackled, and it is not always an easy read, but I think each book is an important read with some important lessons among the pages. So, if you have not picked up a book by Louisa Reid, I really suggest you do, as you will be in for a treat.

One comment on “Two for Tuesday – Novels-in-verse

  1. Thank you so much for these beautiful reviews. It means the world that you read both novels and with so much love for the characters. xx

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