Christ, I was in a bad mood today. Shitty day at work, sick wife, starting to get sick myself.
I was deeply glad that I only needed to type 350 words today, I don’t think I could have gotten much more done, but at the same time it’s really nice to achieve something on shitty days like this.
‘Strike a blow’ as my father-in-law is fond of saying.
Daily word count: 359
Total word count: 5,716
Having been away from blogging for a year, I’m way behind on book reviews. I don’t want to spend too much time on these, but there are a few I need to get done.
Firstly “Aimee and the Bear” the first book by Toby Stone published by Hic Dragones.
Aimee and the Bear – 5 of 5 stars
You might remember my GIF-tastic review of Toby’s second book, Psychic Spiders – a book I won being silly on Twitter. I really enjoyed Psychic Spiders – but I thought Aimee and the Bear was better.
Amy is a young girl in a terrible situation; her mother is cruel, tormenting and abusive. Whenever she finds the abuse too much, Amy grabs the hand of her dirty old teddy bear and escapes into a fantastic and magical world. Here she goes to Night School. Strange teachers conduct odd lessons, and every child has a guardian who brings them to school. In this world Amy becomes Aimee, and her teddy bear becomes a hulking and savage protector.
Together, Aimee and the Bear need to find a way to save the Night School from the Witch, and at the same time save Aimee’s baby brother.
The basics of this novel are solid – great writing, with genuine moments of humour and horror along with a plot that is not nearly as easy to guess as you might think from my brief summary. The ‘real world’ characters are believable and depressing, and the ‘Night School’ characters are delightful and bizarre.
What makes this stand out (for me) is the emotion behind Amy’s real family, her mother’s terrorising, her step father’s weak uselessness, and her grandmother’s wilful blindness. The abuse and how it is dealt with by Amy – still very much a child – is powerful, troubling, and in some points devastating.
This is a brilliant, occasionally heartbreaking, always uncomfortable story that I highly recommend.