Monday, March 22, 2010

The 10pm Question

Yesterday I finally finished a book I started at about the end of January. I've been pretty slow at getting through books over the past year or so, I just never seem to have time to read them. I think I've also been suffering a case of reading fatigue after finishing my Honours in English Literature at the end of 2008 which saw me reading an adult novel, two Young Adult novels, and a New Zealand play or two every fortnight for months. I spent all day most days reading and even though I love reading, it can get a bit much when you're forced to do it for hours on end no matter whether you like the book or not (thankfully I liked most of the books!).

Anyway, yesterday I finished The 10pm Question which is a Young Adult book by New Zealander Kate De Goldi. I love Young Adult books, I'm not entirely sure why. One reason is probably that they are shorter than most adult novels but more often than not (if you choose well) are just as engaging and well-written. Also, some of my favourite books are YA novels simply because I read them when I was younger and therefore was reading books aimed at that age-group. Maybe also because according to the Wikipedia definition, I've only been out of the Young Adult age category for a year... though I wouldn't entirely agree with their age range.

The 10pm Question was great, I loved Kate De Goldi's style and her cast of quirky characters. I feel like everyone would recognise at least one or two of the characters from their own lives - for me it was Frankie's great aunties who live together in a big old house and have all sorts of hobbies and interests, and Dr. Pete because my Dad's friend and my actual Dr when I was younger was called Dr. Pete. I got a bit teary in the second to last (or 'penultimate' for those of you so inclined) chapter because one of the major themes of the book is anxiety and this chapter is where Frankie finally confronts the '10pm questions' that plague him and has a heartbreaking talk with his mother about her agoraphobia/crippling anxiety and his fear that he is 'wired' like her. The book is also about friendship and family relationships and all those good things we learn about as we grow up.

I would definitely recommend it, although apparently, according to this review, it's a book you'll either love or hate. I know lots of people who've loved it though so give it a go if it sounds like your cup of tea. And don't be put off by the YA categorisation - like age is just a number, YA is just a label.

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