From the author of the literary hit, Deadly Unna?, comes a fast-paced rite-of-passage set amidst the mythical surf and island culture of Bali, and up to its neck in the madness of its politics and the terrifying consequences of breaking the rules…
Growing up with the famous Bali surf at his backdoor, Taj had a perfect childhood – until 10 years ago when three robed judges sentenced his father to death. But Kimbo didn’t die – he’s been on death row ever since, leaving Taj in a weird limbo, unable to look to his own future. When the election of a new President leads to a date being set for Kimbo’s execution, Taj realises there is only one course of action left to him- bust his dad out of jail. What follows is the whirlwind ride of father and son on the run through Indonesia, authorities hot on their tail. As events unravel, Taj uncovers some startling truths about his family, his girlfriend, and the girl he is rapidly falling for.
|I firstly want to thank the author and his editor for trusting me to read this as a sensitivity reader whilst the story was still in its manuscript form.|
Disclaimer: This review is based on manuscript I read which is subject to change.
THIS STORY IS BRILLIANT!!! I devoured the manuscript in just over 2 days and this really had me on the edge of my seat. So intense – such high stakes, this story is such a gripping tale of a young boy who is adamant to save his father from the hells of Kerobakan Prison no matter what the cost. Full of suspense, as the story goes on, you start to see who Taj’s true friends and allies are. Although written for a YA readership, this book can be enjoyed by an adult audience too.
I was brought in as a sensitivity reader for the use of the Bahasa Indonesian language, Indonesian setting and Indonesian characters that feature in this story. As an Indonesian-Australian reader myself, I was very touched to see the author take so much time to study Indonesian and have this book set there as it’s not everyday we see a book set in our neighbouring country! I truly felt the author showed a lot of empathy and effort with the work he produced in this story and I could really feel the author has spent a fair bit of time in Indonesia – I feel it through the protagonist Taj – he is not just a tourist who writes about his adventures later, he truly lived there for a long time, learns the local lingo and social conventions and understands how Indonesia works. The cultural, political and environmental references noted in this book are spot on especially through my experience in visiting and spending time with family in Indonesia. It was a pleasure to provide feedback and assist in the Bahasa/cultural aspects of Indonesia.
I cannot wait for this book to hit the shelves, I really hope readers will enjoy this as much as I did.
Fair warning: features course language and strong themes such as kidnapping, prison, execution and grief. My personal recommendation is for an older YA audience maybe 16 years and older.
With special thanks again to Penguin Random House Australia for giving me first access in the capacity of a sensitivity reader to this amazing story.