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The Haven by Simon Lelic - Review

Friday, December 28, 2018

Where did I get it? Netgalley, thank you to Hachette Children's Group for granting it to me!

What's it about? It's kind of a modern retelling of Oliver Twist. It's set in London in the present day. Ollie lives with his foster mother, Nancy, but she and he are snatched from their beds in the middle of the night and Nancy is killed. Ollie is rescued by Dodge and taken to the Haven, a neutral place for kids in the middle of the city. He and the rest of the kids have to race against time to stop Mad Maddy Sikes from ruining the city. 

I was intrigued by the blurb and read this book really quickly. I liked Ollie and Dodge, and lots of the other kids introduced. I think there'll be more in this series, it certainly lends itself to it. I liked the gang feel to it, I liked the technology they had and the home they had built. It's a decent middle grade book. I liked that there was a genuine sense of terror and tension, and a genuinely bad baddie!

What age range is it for? I'm saying it's middle grade because Ollie is twelve, so anything from around eleven onwards 

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? Yes

Are any main characters people of colour? Yes 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? Yes, one of the Haven's leaders uses a wheelchair, and I liked how this was incorporated. 

Is there any sex stuff? No 

Are drugs mentioned or used? Maybe? I think maybe 

Is there any talk of death? Yes, Ollie is quite traumatised by the deaths of his parents and then of Nancy 

Are there swear words? No 

What criticisms do I have? It is a little bit too middle grade in parts, but I forgave it. 

Would I recommend the book? Yes absolutely

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? I was away and as usual had my tablet with me instead of a paper book, and I wanted to read it. 

What other books is it like? It's like the Alex Rider books I think

How many stars? Eight out of ten!

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