TWOC by Graham Joyce


Taken Without Owner’s Consent
Age Range: 14 & up
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An English car thief must confront his inner demons after a car accident leaves those involved scarred. A joyride in a Ferrari ends with a fiery crash, and 16-year-old Matt Norris is left with burned hands, a criminal record and a haunted vision of Jake, his older brother. While at activity camp, Matt addresses the accident with the support of two fellow campers. A stock teen character, Matt’s experience evokes neither empathy nor relevance in this, Joyce’s first young-adult novel. Jake’s role as both guilty conscience and scapegoat prevent any authentic internal discussion by Matt, which compels outside elements to force his limited and sudden character maturation. Matt’s fellow delinquents generate more interest in their few paragraphs of backstory than any other character. The dearth of both character development and natural storyline, coupled with a contrived ending, ensure a place in mediocrity. U.K. slang is a mere annoyance to Matt’s banal “factoids,” but both remove the reader from the narrative. A rough and unsatisfying ride, this is an unimpressive import. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-670-06090-9
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2007