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CANDY by Kevin Brooks


by Kevin Brooks

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: March 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-439-68327-0
Publisher: Chicken House/Scholastic

A gripping, fast-moving love story set in a dangerous underworld. Joe meets Candy on the streets of London and is instantly, painfully smitten. He buys her a doughnut at McDonald’s and becomes embroiled in a confrontation with a mammoth, terrifying man—Iggy, Candy’s all-controlling pimp. Candy’s hooked on heroin, but Joe and Candy begin a delicate and electric relationship anyway. Joe’s confused entrancement by Candy shimmers under Brooks’s deft hand. He’s addicted to her almost like she is to heroin. When Iggy catches up with them, they may be murdered—or the victim could be Joe’s sister, who’s been taken hostage by Iggy. Candy goes cold-turkey off drugs in Joe’s country cottage; the violent dénouement offers real suspense. Only a disturbing association between scariness and black skin mars Brooks’s narrative, not simply because Iggy is black but because it’s mentioned over and over again. Otherwise, this is a psychological page-turner adeptly capturing love’s hypnotic feel. (Fiction. YA)