26 June, 2012

All My Dangerous Friends

Title: All My Dangerous Friends
Author: Sonya Hartnett
Genre: Fiction
Audience: Young Adult
Format: Book - library

From Goodreads: Louie has finished with her old life, and stepped into a world of sinners. For her, things are not going to be the same again. This darkly funny, disturbing novel explores a lawless world where morality is a nuisance, everything can be bought, and the prices paid are high.

What I thought: This was the last book in my Library Challenge and was the only book I had to take away with me. Given the idea I was suppose to finish all my books before going away, theoretically I didn't complete the challenge, but I did damn well! I will do a separate challenge post.
Well, what can I say about this? Hartnett's writing is so dark. She takes her characters into places that make you scared for them. At the same time, even though you can see that they choose to be in that situation, you feel for them, want them to survive, come through the other side.
Louie's new boyfriend introduces her to his friends - and they are in some very dangerous business indeed. At first they don't involve Louie, but at her insistence and as her actions prove her trustworthiness and usefullness, they let her in. And she loves it. Loves the thrill, the excitement, the fact she is part of something. But how much is too much? How far is she willing to go?
Not only does Hartnett introduce Louie to this world slowly, she takes the reader with her. You're not 100% sure what these guys are up to, but you know it's not good. And when it comes to a point in the book where Louie has to decide to go on or not, you do too. Do you go and accept these guys for what they are and what they do, or do you draw back and watch from afar, shaking your head, disgusted with what they do. At no point does Hartnett make that choice for you - it's all yours.
This was written from Louie's point of view. Then about three quarters of the way through the book, new characters and a new scenario are introduced. It's jarring, since the reader is not sure where this fits into the story. But I think the jarring is deliberate, it forces you out of any complacency or assumptions you might have slipped into and in the end it comes together.
All My Dangerous Friends is another excellent book from Hartnett. I look forward to the next one from her on my list.

Challenges: Library Challenge,