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Unboxed by Non Pratt - Review

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Where did I get it? I bought it for myself a couple of years ago, I'm guessing not long after it came out. I was perusing the bookshelves the other night and picked it out. I wanted something short to read and this was perfect. It's one of those dyslexia friendly books, printed on thick paper, and it isn't too long. It's more of a novella really. 

What's it about? Alix is eighteen and has just got in touch with three old friends, Zara, Ben, and Dean. The four of them were a little gang when they were thirteen, along with their friend Millie, and they buried a time capsule together to be opened later. Later is now, because Millie has died of stomach cancer, and one of her dying wishes was for the others to open the time capsule. 

The other four lost touch after the summer they made the time capsule, although Millie tried to keep in touch with them all, meaning that they're seeing each other for the first time after five years. Each of them has a secret; Alix's is the fact that she's gay. The four of them, along with Zara's boyfriend Ash, go to retrieve the time capsule and then setting about opening it.

It's a very sweet little novella, which is quite emotive, and I was left wanting more, which I think is always good with a novella. I didn't quite understand why Alix had left their school and would have appreciated a couple more paragraphs on this, and I would have maybe liked a little bit more of Millie's personality to come through (which I appreciate is difficult since she's dead), but mostly I thought it was very, very good. 

What age range is it for? 13+, a younger reader would certainly understand the book and probably really like it 

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? Yes, Alix is. Although she's a bit apprehensive about telling her old friends, she's very proud to be who she is. I think her apprehension is understandable - all of us were very different people at thirteen to who we were at eighteen.

Are any main characters people of colour? Yes, Zara is, and I think Alix may be although it's not overtly stated. 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? No 

Is there any sex stuff? No 

Are drugs mentioned or used? No, I don't think so

Is there any talk of death? A little bit about Millie, but it's not explicit. There's a bit of stuff about Dean's family which includes violence, too 

Are there swear words? If there were I didn't notice 

What criticisms do I have? Only that I would have liked it to be longer and a little more in-depth explanation at times! 

Would I recommend the book? Absolutely 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? I spotted it on the shelf. It's a really nice cover and like I say it's one of those easy-to-read books, like The Last Days of Archie Maxwell. I think they're really beautiful editions, I would collect more. 

What other books is it like? I think it's got a similar feel to Non's other book Trouble

How many stars? Four out of five

Where is the book going now? I might lend it to my friend Laura, but I'll be keeping it for sure

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