Sunday 29 August 2021

BOOK REVIEW: The Kilwade Tragedy by Terry Keys

The Kilwade Tragey
Author: Terry Keys
Genre: YA Coming of Age
Publication Date: 6 August 2019

Book Description:
Terry Keys, USA Today bestselling author of Lie No More and The Missing pens his most captivating book to date. This is the heart-breaking story about a small-town boy who’d taken everything from everyone until he could take no more.

Seventeen-year-old Blaze Planter is a Jr. at Kilwade, High School. 
His parents have recently divorced. 
His grades are slipping. 
His anger is growing with each day. 
Relationships with his closest friends are failing. 
Secrets about his life are being uncovered. 
No one understands what he is going through. 
And everyone who has betrayed him needs to be taught a lesson. 
So now he stands with the one friend that has never betrayed him. 
The one friend that does what he asks every time he squeezes the trigger. 
The only friend that he can depend on. 
Tragedies don’t just happen. The signs are simply overlooked every day until it’s too late. 

After the read be sure to review the author’s note where resources for additional help are listed. There are also discussion questions to generate conversation & get adults and student’s talking. 

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This was a very interesting story that centres on the deteriorating mind of 17-year-old Blaze Planter, who feels as though the world is caving in on him and no matter how much he tries to fit in, he just can't seem to find a place for himself in the world. The only person he confides in is his best friend, Mark, who might be the only one that can stop him from unleashing catastrophe on fellow students at his school.

I liked the fact that the protagonist of the story is also the culprit of the story. It's a bold move, and while I thought the author handled the subject matter well and with care, I found the characters could have been developed a little more to add more substance to the reasoning behind Blaze's ultimate breakdown. I liked the characters and their portrayal to a certain extent, I just didn't connect with them as I would have liked to because there wasn't enough depth to them for me to analyse their behaviours and interactions to get a more rounded depiction of them. I did not enjoy the head-hopping. It made the story feel disjointed and made me feel disconnected from certain characters.

I thought the pacing of the story was good to begin with, but as we got three-quarters of the way, the events that unfolded started to feel so rushed. It just started to feel underdeveloped and did not have the desired effect it should have. The topic was always going to be a tricky one, but I have to say, I thought the author's approach was delicate and well handled. Keys chose to focus on the deterioration of a young man's mind, and I believe there are some lessons to learn here about paying closer attention to the people close to us and learning to speak up when you feel something isn't quite right.

Overall, it was a good read. It didn't have me jumping out of my seat, but it grabbed my attention enough to keep me reading until the end.


Rating: 3 Star
Source: Author

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