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BLAME BY SIMON MAYO

PUBLISHED BY PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE
REVIEW BY TI-ANN PEACHY

Blame by Simon Mayo is a young adult thriller that details a different world where children can be held responsible for crimes committed by their parents or grandparents. Abigail (here on known as Ant) and her brother Mattie are in prison with their foster carers Dan and Gina, as they all have parents that have committed crimes. Not only are children punished by being put in prison, they are also strapped with a tag in the small of their backs that make them walk with a strut.

As per most young adult books produced today, the main character is a tom-boy who is just out to look after herself and her family. I was pleasantly surprised to see that romance was not a major plot point of this book, which is definitely a change. Ant is a teenager with a major rebellious streak, a history of annoying the wrong people, the ability to make friends with the right people and a lot of stubbornness. She is a well-developed character who is likeable and easy to feel sympathy for. You also get glimpses into Mattie’s world with short snippets of his writing throughout. He is a sweet character who often made me smile for his simple view of the world. Many of the minor characters were also fleshed out, although a few were only there to play an obvious role.

The story moves quickly, with tension building within the first few chapters. Characters are introduced and killed off without much warning and that makes for an exciting read. The book does read like a typical first of a trilogy book for the young adult genre, finishing with an ending that obviously leaves room for more of the same story. But despite this, I found Blame to be highly enjoyable. The good characters were likeable, the villains easy to despise, and the story thrilling to read. I am looking forward to finding out how Ant continues her rebellion in the next instalment from Simon Mayo.

Find this novel in store at Planet Books. Ask the friendly staff for guidance too, and they’ll be more than happy to order you in a copy if it’s already sold out.