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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

Mailbox Monday 09/01/2012


Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house during the last week. Be warned that Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Mailbox Monday, is currently ‘on tour’ and being hosted by a different blogger each month.
So why not stop by, leave a link to your own Mailbox Monday post, oh! and don’t forget to leave a comment for Alyce, after all, we all like to receive them!

This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!


My single book this week, is an author request for a read and review. ‘Hoodie’ is Brendon Lancaster’s debut novel and although a little out of any of my usual reading genres, sounds hard-hitting, so ‘close to home’ for so many families, and controversial enough to warrant some serious reading, both for its intended YA audience and adults alike.


Available From Amazon

From the moment Ben Chapman ( ‘Hoodie’ to the other Shady Boys) crashes out of school, determined never to return and, incidentally, seeking his revenge on the school’s drug dealer by stealing and concealing his stash in his trousers on the way out, you know that this is a boy to whom caution and reticence are alien concepts. Outwardly, he maintains that all he wants is a job, his own money and to follow his heart towards the girl of his dreams, Isabelle. But, underneath that concealing hoodie, Ben has a rich inner life, fed by dope, wine and the belief that he is someone special. During his ‘summer of love’, we follow his attempts to engage with the real world with frustration and compassion. His adventures cause him to question today’s competitive, consumer-based values, eventually challenging his perception of reality and prompting him to reflect upon who and what his purpose in life is before finding himself faced with the definitive test of resolve and bravery. Hoodie’s blend of up-to-date realism, dream-like escapism, fast-paced, hard-hitting action, wistful musings, humour and tragedy, all while the story navigates its way on a magical mystery tour of Ben’s mind, ensures an enjoyable read. It provides the perfect antidote to alarmist Daily Mail reporting of youth issues, exploring the problems facing modern day Britain from the perspective of a disempowered, disaffected teenager.

On a deeper level, there is a moral/spiritual sub-text, fed by Ben’s belief that he has a secret weapon; the simian lines (fused head and heart lines) on the palms of his hands. These are extremely rare and noted as being a genetic abnormality shared by drug addicts, mass murderers, scientific researchers and religious fanatics (and, by sheer coincidence, Tony Blair). Could these lines hold the key to his future?


As this was an author invitation to read and review, a copy of ‘Hoodie’ was sent to me free of charge by its author, Brendon Lancaster.

This will in no way influence any comments I may express about the book, in any blog article I may post. Any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article.


Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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    • Hi Diane,

      Although this book was first published a couple of years ago, it is the authors debut novel.

      It looks as though it is going to be a pretty hard hitting look at the more subversive element of the teenage population, so I am expecting it not to pull any punches.

      It is certainly going to be an interesting read.

      Thanks for stopping by, it is always appreciated.

    • Hi Laurel-Rain,

      I think I may be about to ‘have my eyes opened’ when I read this book. I shall be looking out for the underlying messages which Brendon Lancaster indicates are there, and doing my best not to sterotype the main character of Ben too much, which I think it will be all too easy to do, having read just the synopsis so far.

      Thanks for the visit and enjoy a great reading week.

    • Hi Kathy,

      I think I am going to have to go into this one with a completely open mind, or I am likely to be doomed to failure from the start.

      Thanks for the visit and the interesting comments.

    • Hi Laura,

      I think that ‘intense’ is probably an understatement with regards to this book. It sounds as though the story touches on just about every disreputable facet of teenage society that would make the reader feel uncomfortable. I am just hoping that I am able to see through some of the mire, to get to the positive stuff, which I am sure will be hidden somewhere between the pages.

      Thanks for the constructive comments and for stopping by today

    • Hi Kaye,

      This is a UK author that I have never come across before, although it is hardly a surprise, as this genre of book is going to be taking me a long way outside my comfort zone and is not a work that I would have purchased.

      I shall be interested in studying the style of writing and just how Brendon deals with the impossibly difficult subject matter.

      Thanks for stopping by and for choosing to leave a comment.

    • Hi Mary Ann,

      Getting into the psyche of a teenage hoodie, is certainly going to be a challenge for my poor little brain, especially as I have never had any children, so have never had to experience the trials and tribulations of an adolescent male!

      Thanks for the visit today.

    • Hi Beth,

      I am not really sure what I have let myself in for, in agreeing to read and review ‘Hoodie’.

      I shall constantly have to remind myself to stay focused and objective and not let my emotions get the better of me, as I am led down the route of exploring the problems for the youth of Britain, as viewed from the inside.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving comment

    • Hi Alyce,

      I like to be challenged by a book and I am sure that this one will be about as challenging as it gets.

      The author has promoted it as a YA title, but I am sure that it will be a book that every parent of a teenage male out there, should read.

      Thanks for taking a turn to host this popular meme and for taking the time to visit Fiction Books.

  • This one is new to me too but sounds interesting! My sons are young men now so that’s a scary issue. I hope you enjoy it and have a great week!

    • Hi Debbie,

      I have read just a few pages of this book now and so far it is as depressing and scary as I thought it might be.

      The issues are however very real and part of our society, like it or not, so I really do want to take the time to try and understand where these young people are coming from, when they venture down this route.

      Thanks for stopping by, it is always good to ‘meet’ new people and I love to read all comments.

Written by Yvonne