[Free Press Blog Tour&Review] The Radleys by Matt Haig

Posted 6 January, 2011 by Molly in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

About the Book:
Just about everyone knows a family like the Radleys. Many of us grew up next door to one. They are a modern family, averagely content, averagely dysfunctional, living in a staid and quiet suburban English town. Peter is an overworked doctor whose wife, Helen, has become increasingly remote and uncommunicative. Rowan, their teenage son, is being bullied at school, and their anemic daughter, Clara, has recently become a vegan. They are typical, that is, save for one devastating exception: Peter and Helen are vampires and have—for seventeen years—been abstaining by choice from a life of chasing blood in the hope that their children could live normal lives.

One night, Clara finds herself driven to commit a shocking—and disturbingly satisfying—act of violence, and her parents are forced to explain their history of shadows and lies. A police investigation is launched that uncovers a richness of vampire history heretofore unknown to the general public. And when the malevolent and alluring Uncle Will, a practicing vampire, arrives to throw the police off Clara’s trail, he winds up throwing the whole house into temptation and turmoil and unleashing a host of dark secrets that threaten the Radleys’ marriage.

The Radleys is a moving, thrilling, and radiant domestic novel that explores with daring the lengths a parent will go to protect a child, what it costs you to deny your identity, the undeniable appeal of sin, and the everlasting, iridescentbonds of family love. Read it and ask what we grow into when we grow up, and what we gain—and lose—when we deny our appetites.

About the Author:
Matt Haig is the author of The Last Family in England,a UK bestseller narrated by a Labrador; The Dead Fathers Club, a widely acclaimed update of Hamletfeaturing an eleven-year-old boy; and The Possession of Mr. Cave, a horror story about an overprotective father. His work has been translated into twenty-four languages. He lives in York, England, with the writer Andrea Semple and their two children.

My Review:
When you read a mystery thriller book, you expect to be kept on the edge of your seat and to want to keep turning the pages long into the night. When I went into reading this book, that is not what happened for me. I read the description on the book and was excited about a new mystery book available to review, filled with family secrets. However, upon opening the book and reading through it, I was quite disappointed to see that it was a vampire-like story. Definitely not what I usually read. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I will, from time to time, read a book outside my favorite genres because every author deserves a chance. And, so, I delved into this book with hopes that it wouldn’t be “just another vampire story” that I so don’t like to read.

To my surprise, while definitely NOT my absolutely all time favorite book, it was an alright book. I wouldn’t keep it on my bookshelf though. I found that the plot, was indeed, well written and interesting. The characters really fit the roles that they played in this story. The complexity of the vampire-likeness of the novel, was so much more than in past vampire-y novels that I have read. The author truly has a talent for writing this style of book.

Would I recommend this book to everyone? No. Would I recommend this book to those who love vampire novels and fantasies? Most definitely. Would I read it again? No, simply because this is not my usual taste in books. Does it deserve a fair rating? Of course. The author deserves high kudos for talent and the book deserves 3 stars for being well written.

You can purchase your copy here.

*This book was provided for review by Free Press/Simon&Schuster*

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