Clay by David Almond

My not-so-secret obsession with teen fiction continues apace. In my secondary school English teacher days, Skellig (also by Almond) was a year seven staple. I enjoyed that so I figured Clay was worth a (charity shop) purchase.

In many ways the two books are quite similar; both are narrated in the first person by teenage boys, and both blur the boundaries between fantasy and reality as mythical creatures enter the lives of very ordinary people.

In Clay I really enjoyed Almond's examination of sanity and madness, and the themes do actually become quite dark in places.

At times it does feel as though Almond has written the book for school children to analyse; the themes are less than subtle and a lot of the characterisation is laced with stereotype. That said, the plot is pacey and surprising and, for teens/fellow teen fiction affectionados, well worth a read.

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