Title: The Radleys
Author: Matt Haig
Published by: Walker (YA), Canongate (Adult), July 2010
Warnings: Non graphic sex scenes, references to adultery. 14 upwards.
Other facts: Matt Haig has also written things like the Dead Father's Club and The Last Family in Englan. This has been longlisted for the Carnegie Award 2011
Summary(from Amazon): Meet the Radleys - Peter, Helen and their teenage children, Clara and Rowan, live in a typical suburban English town. They are an everyday family, averagely dysfunctional, averagely content. But, as their children have yet to find out, the Radleys have a devastating secret. In this moving, thrilling and extraordinary portrait of one unusual family, The Radleys asks what we grow into when we grow up, and explores what we gain - and lose - when we deny our appetites.
Review:On a completely unrelated note, this is book 1 of my Parajunkee Challenge. On with the review...
For some reason, the first time I saw this, it was shelved alongside YA paranormal romance. The subtle cover caught my eye, as it was completely different. I really enjoyed this book. The characters were easy to connect with, mostly likeable and believable. I like the originality, as Haig portrays the vampire in a completely different light to what we are used to. The writing was descriptive and well written, interspersed with black humour, my absolute favourite being when discussing what to do about Clara's killing, Helen says "I've brought the spade". The clever subplots underneath the main story all intertwine neatly with eachother and the general plot,which I really like. What the Radleys does fal down on is not being aimed at a certain audience. I know it was published in two seperate editions, but the opening read as a YA novel, whilst some content was, at some points, unsuitable for younger readers. And while I enjoy all the subplots, they slightly detract from the stories of Rowan and Clara, which I think were intended to be the main characters.
Overall: I give this strength 4 tea, as i like all the twists and turns, the ironic look at vampires and the blood by the bottleful.