Fourteen-year-old Charlie Law has lived in Little Town, on the border with Old Country, all his life. He knows the rules: no going out after dark; no drinking; no litter; no fighting. You don't want to get on the wrong side of the people who run Little Town. When he meets Pavel Duda, a refugee from Old Country, the rules start to get broken. Then the bombs come, and the soldiers from Old Country, and Little Town changes for ever.
Sometimes, to keep the people you love safe, you have to do bad things. As Little Town's rules crumble, Charlie is sucked into a dangerous game. There's a gun, and a bad man, and his closest friend, and his dearest enemy.
Charlie Law wants to keep everyone happy, even if it kills him. And maybe it will ...
I received the hardback version of this book from Bloomsbury Australia, and thought the cover was both bright and disturbing. I mean, check out the bombs! :/
Regardless, it's a really nice book. I'm kinda fussy about hardbacks, and really liked the look of this one.
Charlie Law lives in Little Town with his parents. Little Town borders the Old Country, and the two don't get along. The Regime in Little Town is strict and delivers harsh penalties to those who steal or break curfew. Charlie's a good boy: he goes to school, likes to read and stays off the radar, but when refugees from Old Country move in next door and Charlie befriends Pavel Duda, he's determined to teach him the lingo and keep him safe. Because there are a lot of people eager to make the Duda family feel unwelcome.
Charlie's mother has asthma, so he's always eager to help by walking several miles to get her inhaler. But when Old Country decides to attack Little Town and then soldiers move in, Charlie makes a few decisions that lead him down a very dangerous path...
This is such a unique book. Even after reading the blurb I wasn't sure what the genre was, but once I got stuck into the story there was no denying that it's a dystopian book.
The people of Little Town aren't just in constant fear of what the neighbouring Old Country will do next, they're also oppressed by their own Regime. Everyone lives under the watchful eye of the Big Man, and anyone who breaks the rules either suffers the punishment or ends up owing him. Yeah, it's not a fair life.
The Bombs That Brought Us Together is an interesting, yet disturbing book. Interesting, because the friendship angle is done very well. Charlie is ferocious about helping his friend. And disturbing because the town is run by a man who knows how to keep people down, as well as put children in situations where they become indebted to him.
I also found the writing style to be as unique as Charlie's voice.
The Bombs That Brought Us Together, May 2016, ISBN 9781408855744, Bloomsbury Childrens