Sunday, 3 August 2014

I Predict A Riot by Catherine Bruton

Book Title: I Predict A Riot
Author: Catherine Bruton
Publisher: Electric Monkey, June 5th, 2014
Source: Uncorrected Proof Copy
Format: Paperback, 304 pages
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository
Welcome to Coronation Road - a kaleidoscope of clashing cultures and parallel lives. There's Maggie and her politician mum in their big house. There's Tokes and his mum in a tiny bedsit, running from trouble. And there's the ruthless Starfish gang, breeding fear through the neighbourhood. Amateur film-maker Maggie prefers to watching life through the lens of her camera. In Tokes, she finds a great subject for her new film. And when violence erupts, led by the Starfish gang, Maggie has the perfect backdrop. But as the world explodes around her, Maggie can't hide behind the lends anymore...
Let's just dive into the deep end here and say that this book surprised me, beyond words... Bruton has hemmed a tale from the fabric of reality and created something that you could have fooled me into believing it was a biography. I was utterly captivated by the story, and the characters relationships.

I have nothing but praise for this book; from the moment I picked it up I knew I was holding a gem not just in its story but in its characters, descriptions, and most of all (perhaps) its dialogue. I think the dialogue that Bruton has put to work in this novel is what makes it all the more so real, without it I do feel that I wouldn't love the book half as much as I already do; there were admittedly times when I thought it was a bit overused and that grated on me slightly. Understandably, this use of dialogue (slang?) might put people off the book, or stop them making a full connection with it - but personally for me, it helped the characters seem more realistic.

The way the story was told was also, I believe, immensely clever - through the eyes of Maggie, and her camera, not only do we get and excellent story but the descriptions are taken further by being absolutely relevant to a film-maker and therefore rather realistic, and reasonable that they're included. I also found the way the chapters were titled as 'Scene...' a really good addition to the book.

The pacing was so on point that I was amazed, I had expected something that was intense and harsh on every page, and whilst elements of this do show up in the novel and to great advantage – they aren't the main focus. 

Catherine has created a book that is about much more than simple gangs and rioters; I Predict A Riot is NOT a gritty novel, far from it. But it is emotional, and the characters (namely Maggie, Tokes, and Little Pea) are full of depth and I think they compliment and contrast with each other in a way that just fit together perfectly.

Without a doubt Little Pea became my favourite character, from the beginning of the book we're basically told that Little Pea dies, but I didn't know how or when it would happen, and as I grew to love Little Pea's personality I became slightly paranoid as I turned each page and waited for it to happen. Suffice to say I didn't enjoy reading the scene, but I will say that the author portrayed the perfect idea of wastefulness of life at that particular point in the novel - which I think was a powerful tool in relation to the gang and violence bits of the book. The only complaint I have is that I didn't really feel anything from or about the Starfish gang, no intimidation or fear came through, nothing aroused enough feeling for me to hate them. The whole time it was like I observed the gang with mutual interest.

One thing that I really admire about Bruton is that she didn't create a romance, well strictly speaking I suppose that’s not true since there was some level of attraction between Maggie and Tokes, but what I mean is that they never kissed. Nothing. YAY. A YA book that doesn't need to use two young people kissing each other as a plot device. 

All in all I I Predict A Riot was a hugely enjoyable read - it was well-paced, drew me into the story, and had what I thought to be a class ending. I highly recommend it to any readers of Young Adult books!

Rating =4 Bookish Birds


  1. Glad you enjoyed this one! It doesn't look like my thing really so I don't think I'll be picking this up but it's good how it surprised you and ended up being more emotional than gritty. I think the dialogue would probably really irritate me. :3

    Great review!

    1. Thaaaanks Rachel - I get it, haha, in real life I think the dialogue would probably make me want to slap them but I felt like it helped with their identity in the book... YAH. THANKIES for the lovely comment CHUMMY.


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