Lucas - Kevin Brooks

Monday, March 16, 2015

Author: Kevin Brooks
Published by: Scholastic

Caitlin McCann is on the way home from picking her brother up from university when she spots a young boy walking into her town. As the car passes him, he looks up and stares right at her. Cait feels drawn to him and somehow just knows that things in her small town are going to change. And change they do: her brother and her best friend start hanging out with losers, the town It boy starts flirting with her despite his unwanted advances, and Cait just drifts along not knowing what to do or where she fits in. When she finally meets the Boy she is no less drawn to him, but unfortunately the town is too and not for the same reasons.

This story left an impact on me. I read it years ago when it first came out. When browsing the library shelves the other day, I saw it and decided to reread it. I couldn't remember everything about it, but I do remember the feeling of emptiness and disgust it left me with and I wanted to see if it would have the same impact over ten years later.

It did.

Brooks does an amazing job of showing the ugliness in people. The way people can want other people to hurt simply because they do not understand them. Simply because they are different. He shows, in a horrifying way, that crowd-mentality can overrun even the most basic humanity.

He shows the way people believe what other people say over what their own eyes saw. He perfectly captures the way people's biases stem from fear. That gossip and lies are just as dangerous as knives and fists.

Though Lucas is abused and targeted for being a "gypsy" you can easily substitute any other word in the quotation marks. Gay. Black. White. Muslim. The story doesn't change. The fear that people turn into paranoia is something that, unfortunately always seems to be relevant.

What is also sad about this book isn't only the way people behave around each other. But the way brave and courageous people, who are trying to do the right thing, don't always end up coming out ahead. When there aren't enough people standing up for what is right - bad things can happen and they can escalate at an alarming rate.

It's life and it's truth but it's sobering to see it written out in this way.

I give it 5 out of 5 cateyes.

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