Silent Saturday (Forbidden Spaces Trilogy 1) by Helen Grant
Published by Bodley Head (Random House Children’s)
3 out of 5 stars
Format: Arc/Egalley (published in various formats from 4th April 2013)
Silent Saturday is the first in a trilogy from established author Helen Grant, I’ve not read anything else by Grant so wasn’t sure what to expect but the cover looked suitably spooky and it seemed worth a go.
Set in Brussels, the lead in the book is Veele, a young girl that struggles with her mothers obsessive over protectiveness, at 17 the last thing she wants to hear is ‘be careful’ and her mother takes it to the extreme, Veele doesn’t know why. Reunited with a boy from her past she becomes involved with a secret society (The Koekoeken) who sort of burgle/raid empty houses/paces (its a bit odd) and the truth about her past is uncovered, but first there are murders to solve and the YA necessity – a love interest (Kris)
I’ll be honest, I skimmed a lot of the book, I just couldn’t get into it at all, it was a chore to pick it up again. I didn’t hate the story, it was quite good but I just couldn’t get on with Grants writing style. The English in the book was too ‘proper’ the use of slang was more or less nonexistent, and the book had a ‘translated’ feel along the lines of Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart series (although there it didn’t put me off the books). I don’t think it was translated, but it did come across that way.
Like I said the story was good, Veele’s relationship struggles with her mother was brilliantly written, and a much bigger part of the story that I thought it would be, and the concept of a society along the lines of the Koekoeken was original and interesting. Don’t think this is a fluffy girl meets boy and gets involved in a secret sect type story, its not, its incredibly dark (so much so I had to check if it was actually a YA book) and grizzly, it is every bit as creepy as the cover promised, and of course its only the first in a three book series. I did guess the murderer and I’m glad that was revealed in this book, rather than stretched along the three, but the book still left questions to get the dedicated reader to return for book 2.
Sadly I’m not one that will come back to book 2, I couldn’t get on with Grants writing which is a shame as I think I would of liked the story if it had been written by someone else. I have given the book 3 stars as it IS good, and for someone that likes the writing style I can imagine it would be a must read, but for me I just couldn’t get past it.
ARC/Egalley kindly provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest, fair review.