Lost in Static by Christina Philippou
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Lost In Static is a gritty contemporary drama set in an English university. The main characters are four first year students and we follow their lives from beginning to end of that first year.
Ruby is a tom boy, and a huge football fan, she plays in the uni football team, she’s quiet and insecure at times, but popular.
Juliette is running away from home-life and its restrictions. A chain smoker from a strong religious upbringing, uni gives her an opportunity to push new boundaries.
Callum is the good looking one, but has his own secrets.
Yasmine; cold and callous, ready to use anyone for her greater good and will stop at nothing to get her own way.
As the students meet each other in their shared halls of residence, opinions are formed, friendships made, enemies engaged all with a heavy dose of drinking. Callum likes Ruby, Ruby is friends with Juliette, Yasmine hates Juliette, wants Callum and is jeolous of Ruby.
The book opens with one of these students being taken away in an ambulance after a serious accident. Divisions within the group have been split wide, but why? The story then turns back to the first day of term so that we, the reader, can learn of events which lead to the accident. It is built up in delicious layers where we are drip fed snippets and clues, so we too can build our own opinions.
Each student’s side of the story is cleverly told; Ruby’s narrative includes lots of internal dialogue, emphasising her lack of confidence. Callum tells us his version via e-mails to a secret contact. Juliette uses the fourth wall method of speaking to the reader, while Yasemine’s side is told through well known narrative.
The different POV’s are refreshing and move the story at just the right pace, I enjoyed seeing the slight differences in how events happened with each telling, just like any real-life perception of an event.
An excellent debut novel, showing a great strength of writing and could easily be enjoyed by a wide range of readers, although I wouldn’t recommend reading this just before letting go of your precious offspring for their first year at uni, leave it a couple of weeks at least!
Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com due for release Thursday September 15th.
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