Author: Catherine Barter
Publication: 01 June 2017 by Andersen Digital
In three years I will be able to vote and I will still have less power than I did at the moment that I saw that email, which was such a tiny thing but look what happened.
Fifteen-year-old Alena never really knew her political activist mother, who died when she was a baby. She has grown up with her older half-brother Danny and his boyfriend Nick in the east end of London. Now the area is threatened by a bomber who has been leaving explosive devices in supermarkets. It is only a matter of time before a bomb goes off.
Against this increasingly fearful backdrop, Alena seeks to discover more about her past, while Danny takes a job working for a controversial politician. As her family life implodes, and the threat to Londoners mounts, Alena starts getting into trouble. Then she does something truly rebellious.
This is the story of Alena and her modern family. Her mom died due to a blood clot in the brain and she doesn’t know who her father is. She lives with her half-brother, Danny, who is at least 20 years older than her and his boyfriend, Nick.
Alena is just your typical teenager who has a lot of questions in her life. She has no recollection whatsoever about her mother because she has died when Alena was still very young. When she asks Danny about her, he gets all grumpy and evasive. Alena really wants to know her mother and had found many ways to do so. Even to the expense of her own brother.
Danny doesn’t like talking about their mother because he feels that she is not a good role model to Alena. The life she had when she was young is something he doesn’t want for her little sister. All he wants is to keep the people he love safe. Especially since there is an East End Bomber roaming around their area leaving improvised bombs in grocery stores. He doesn’t have a stable income, unlike his boyfriend Nick, but one day got hired to work for the politician, Jacob Carlisle, whom everyone he knows despises.
The relationship of the half-siblings had a lot of ups and downs. And their fights always has to do with their mother. While their biggest fight has something to do with the politician that Danny’s working with. When all of the people around them are already affected by their low-blow banters and sarcasm.
And the ending? I don’t know what to make of it. Alena now knows the truth. Her modern family is okay now depending on her brother’s mood-of-the-day. And the East End Bomber has been caught with a really pathetic reason behind his actions.
To be perfectly honest, I do not understand the reason behind the plot. Yes, it is relevant – modern family, bombings, political scandals, family issues, death – but where exactly is it trying to get at? Something is wrong with the whole story and it’s so annoying. I really wanted to stop reading but I’m not the type to leave a book unfinished no matter how bad I find it.