Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Review: The Marbury Lens

The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith

Synopsis (From Goodreads): Sixteen-year-old Jack gets drunk and is in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is kidnapped. He escapes, narrowly. The only person he tells is his best friend, Conner. When they arrive in London as planned for summer break, a stranger hands Jack a pair of glasses. Through the lenses, he sees another world called Marbury. 

There is war in Marbury. It is a desolate and murderous place where Jack is responsible for the survival of two younger boys. Conner is there, too. But he’s trying to kill them.

Meanwhile, Jack is falling in love with an English girl, and afraid he’s losing his mind.

Conner tells Jack it’s going to be okay. But, it’s not. 

Andrew Smith has written his most beautiful and personal novel yet, as he explores the nightmarish outer limits of what trauma can do to our bodies and our minds.

When Jack escapes from a deranged man's house after being kidnapped, the only person he tells is his best friend, Connor. Since he is going to England, he doesn't see the need in telling any one else. Jack leaves for England, a couple of days before Connor, and he meets a strange man who says he knows him from a world called Marbury. He gives Jack a pair of glasses, which when he puts on takes him to the world of Marbury where there is a great war going on.

The more Jack visits Marbury, the more he's losing touch with reality, but he can't stop himself from returning. Andrew Smith has created a story that questions what is real and what is just an effect of trauma.

The story is told through Jack's eyes and intermediately the reader is drawn into his world and his experience as he's tied to a bed in Freddie's house. As the novel progresses and Jack questions what is reality and what is just an after effect of the kidnapping, the emotions are portrayed exceptionally well, which made me wanting to read on to find out what was happening to Jack.

Both worlds, the real world and the world of Marbury, have been vividly painted and it's easy to imagine what they look like and how the characters feel towards each of the world's.

The Marbury Lens is a pageturning rollercoaster, that will keep any reader on the edge of the seat. Andrew Smith has created a wonderful story that delves into a nightmarish world and explores the effects that trauma can have on a person.

Recommend: I haven't read anything like this before. I would recommend to anyone who likes dark and thrilling stories.
2011 YA Reading Challenge: #9 of 50


Alyssa Kirk said...

This was much grittier than I expected but very well done and very thought provoking. The world of Marbury was a nightmare!

Bryan Russell said...

I keep hearing good things about this book, and hearing them just about anywhere. Plus, the cover rocks.

Alleged Author said...

What a wonderful post! Sounds like a great novel. I especially loved reading this review because you highlighted all the positive points!

Jemi Fraser said...

I finally got my copy, then I lent it to a student who's been dying to read it. Now I have to wait!

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