Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
Are You Still There was an intriguing premise and a book that I enjoyed, a fast read, with some interesting themes and characters.
It starts off with a bang, as we meet Gabi, hiding in the bathroom during a school lockdown, waiting to see if she lives or dies. The school has received a bomb threat - in this case no-one is hurt but as the story progresses we understand that the danger is not over.
It waa a mix of suspense and character relationship drama - not only is a load of stuff going on at the school but Gabi herself is beginning to bloom afer a long time being the perfect child. I was particularly fascinated by her relationhsip with her Sister and Mother - especially as her personality developed within the narrative.
On top of that she gets involved with a crisis helpline set up by the school, meets new friends there and starts to expand her horizons, this is an excellent thread of the story, looking at how these things work and the point of them - in this story mixed in with the need to track down the person behind the threat, someone who seems to have latched onto Gabi as a possible saviour.
Gabi's character voice is engaging throughout, the wider cast making a good group dynamic - so if anything the suspense element, that of the hidden personality behind the threats is kind of secondary - there is a side part where we hear their thoughts as a kind of journal, but I'll be honest and say that I didn't feel the story really NEEDED that bit. I found "him" far less interesting than the rest and a little flat, although as an anchor to what I found REALLY great - Gabi and the exploration of personalities - it was fair enough.
I enjoyed the idea of looking at the wider affects things like this have within school communities, both from the kids side and the adult's side - this was a fast and addictive read for me, excellent writing and flowing well - with some good points made and a main protagonist I really got behind. Overall a good one.
Happy Reading Folks!