Wrecked by Louisa Reid
In Wrecked, the author Louisa Reid, again revisits the verse novel form she executed so beautifully in last year’s Gloves Off. This time we follow the story of Joe, who we meet as he stands in the dock, facing a trial for murder, death by dangerous driving. Little by little, as the court drama unfolds, we learn more about Joe and his relationship with Imogen, his girlfriend and the events in their lives that lead up to the night of the crash.
As with Gloves Off, the reader can genuinely feel the emotions of the characters. Both Joe and Imogen are facing tough times at home but how they each deal with their problems is different, and ultimately drives them apart. All the characters are well drawn and believable but it is Joe, who despite the apparent crime, we are rooting for. Stereotypes are challenged here. Joe himself understands that jurors will see him as a teenage boy racer but we know better and though we understand how he has come to be standing here, charged with murder, how we wish he wasn’t. He’s a decent boy, who loves his parents and wants only to do the right thing.
It’s a strikingly written and moving story. Momentum and tension build, much like the car being driven too fast, as we race towards the final verdict. I found it impossible to put down, so compelling was the story. A perfect read for Years 9, 10 and 11 who like a fast paced but profound read.