Hoot #33 Mice Gordon Reece

This psychological thriller had me hooked very quickly. Shelly and her mum are both victims of abuse; Shelly is bullied my her previous 'friends' in some horrible ways. Her mother is bullied by her ex-husband in a messy divorce and she is also bullied in the workplace. The two little mice scurry off to the country to lick their wounds. But, their bad luck doesn't end there. 

The pace of this book is just right. It builds and builds until Shelly and her mum finally fight back.

Something that irked a little for me was the repetitive characterisation of the two of them as mice. It was a little heavy handed for my liking, but, is probably about right for the young adult readership.

The tone and tension reminded me a little of Beautiful Malice, a big hit with every teen girl I've recommended it to. However this has more depth I think. It will certainly make readers think about the ethics of fighting back and how far you would/ should go to protect yourself and your loved ones. It also has some lovely connections to Macbeth running through the story (Shelly is studying the play for her examinations.)

All the characters are well drawn. And if you have ever been bullied, which lets face it a lot of people have, then the scenes where poor Shelly is retreating further and further into herself because of horrible girls at her school will resonate with you. And no, I don't think the bullying is at all unrealistic or too violent.

Four hoots out of five

Happy tales,
Barking Owl

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