Review: Black Rabbit Summer by Kevin Brooks


Title: Black Rabbit Summer
Author: Kevin Brooks
Publisher: Chicken House (Scholastic)
Date Published: 2008
Genre: Young Adult
Main Themes: Missing persons, Friendship, Growing up, Drugs and Alcohol
Pages: 488
Plot (from book jacket):
“As kids they were tight. Now they’ve grown up – and apart. Before going their separate ways for good, they decide to get together one last time.
Just like old times.
Just the five of them.
Saturday night.
Nicole asked. How could Pete say no?
But the past hurts, personal histories, soon surface, and the party’s over. The group splinters off into the darkness. Into the noise and heat and chaos of the summer carnival.
Days later, a girl goes missing. And each of them is a suspect in her disappearance. Pete doesn’t know what to believe. Could one of their own, one of the old gang, be a killer?”

I want to start out by mentioning that I usually don’t read books narrated by guys. I don’t really know why, but usually I just don’t feel as connected to the novel. That said, Black Rabbit Summer might be one of my favorite books. It was absolutely stunning! There was just something so ridiculously deep about it. It might have been the narrator or Brooks himself, but this book simply shines.

It wasn’t what I expected really, it was much more than the jacket description lets on. I related to the characters in this book so well. I could see each and every character as someone from my life – someone I went to school with.

The plot involves a bit of a mystery and I honestly had no clue how it would be resovled. There were clues at first, but I had no clue how it would all end up fitting together.

Here is a quote that I read, then went back and reread because I loved it so much (Page 404):
“As I stepped over to the den and crept through the door, I wondered if that’s what it was all about. Friends. People you know. People you used to know. People you think you once knew, but you probably never did. You probably knew just part of them, the part of them that was your friend. And the rest, the parts of them that you didn’t know – the twisted parts, the untrue parts, the parts you are seeing now – well, back then you just ignored them. But now you can’t. Because now you can see it all, and now you know that “back then” wasn’t all wonderful and innocent. It was just a time and a place, just like every other time and place. The only difference now is that the things – the people – that belonged to the old time and place aren’t here anymore, and things that aren’t here anymore don’t hurt anymore. The only things that hurt are the things that hurt right now.”

Ratings (out of 10):
Plot: 10
Characters: 10
Writing style: 10
Romance: 10
Originality: 10
Total: 50/50 (A)

I loved this book – READ IT! It was darkly beautiful. I will definitely be looking into Kevin Brooks’ previous books (Lucas, Candy, Being, The Road of the Dead, and more)! I’ve heard that Lucas is really amazing as well…

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