Katherine reads: The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (MASSIVE SPOILERS!)

Found on telegraph.co.uk
This summer I was a bit too aggressive about reading books. I have no idea why, but I've constantly had a pile of books waiting for me to be read and I've been to the library so much that the librarians that work in it were probably thinking: "What the fuck is her problem now? All kids her age would much rather spend time sleeping and wanking themselves off to Megan Fox,"

That's how it actually is in Slovenia. *shivers*

But never mind that. I've been dreading to read The Casual Vacancy ever since it first came out, just because it's J.K., it can't be that bad and it just so happens that I got my hand on one of the copies. Although I haven't heard many good reviews about it, I kind of liked it quite a lot (and you can admire me, I read it in English because Slovenian translations SUCK).
The main thing with this book is that it is different to what we're used to reading from her; I mean, we've all read Harry Potter, we were hooked by her amazing writing and just how amazing the whole story is and with that comes the stupid stereotype that she's probably going to write really good books for teenagers for her entire life.
Wrong. Just wrong.
People were shocked by her writing in this book. Yes, it's a novel for adults and stuff, but I don't think that they expected her to know curse words like fuck and stuff, never mind any other actions that people do. They just expected it would be a lot like Harry Potter, but it wasn't and that's why I liked it so much.

It shows that the writers are able to write things differently, that not everything will be the same or sound the same or be written the same. It's different. She evolved in writing and it's exactly the same as in music. You can't expect every single band to be like Oasis (I love them but I can't tell the difference between a song from 2007 and 1995), they have to evolve (like Muse, for instance).

OK, I massively digress, but just the fact that it was different to other books made me want to read it.

So, the story goes like this; it's about a tiny town called Pagford in West England and people that live in it. There are posh idiots who don't care for anything but themselves, there are people who want to take care of the poor, there are teenagers, drugs, thefts and stuff like that. Pretty much a regular town. Nothing special happens in it.
Until one day, the well loved Parish Councillor drops dead just like that and changes everyone's lives. Firstly, who's going to become the new Councillor? People start fighting for the spot, but their teenage children don't like it and want them to stop. Three teenagers (Stuart, Andrew and Sukhvinder) post all the dirty stuff about their parents on the local website; Stuart about his stepfather sexually abusing a child, Andrew posting about his father receiving stolen goods (which is true) and Sukhvinder posting about her mother loving the dead Councillor way too much (which was true) and at the end of the story, Andrew's father made him post about the council leader Howard and his affair to his business partner.
At the end of the story, Howard's son Miles wins the election only to find out that his wife doesn't love him anymore.
But the book also follows the story of a girl called Krystal. She lives in a council estate with little homes, full of drugs and prostitution. Her mother is a prostitute and a heroin addict and a mother of a 4-year-old little boy called Robbie. She and their social worker Kay are trying their hardest to make her mother quit using drugs but it never works because she always runs back to her dealer Obbo, which later on in the book decides to rape Krystal.
She wants a better life, so she has sex with Stuart, hoping to god that it would get her pregnant because she knew that in that case, Stuart and his family would take her in and away from her current situation. During one of those attempts (in the park, may I add), Robbie is nearby waiting for her. He can't wait anymore, so he runs around the park, slips into the river and drowns.
Sukhvinder was trying to save the boy but failed miserably and when Krystal found out about that, she was so shocked and she believed there was nothing worth living for anymore and so she kills herself by taking a heroin overdose.

What struck me about this book is that how real it felt to me. I have a lot of (now former, thank fuck) classmates who did drugs and were eventually caught and had problems with it (even the police were involved at some point) and had problems at home with their parents divorcing and stuff and I think that she caught those problems extremely well.
A couple of other things that I liked about it that it sort of appeared to me like Skins but for adults in a book. Each part of the book was narrated by a different character and it spoke about their view on certain things and I just loved it.
Then there's also Krystal. My god, did I laugh when I was reading her lines. You could just tell that she was a chavy girl and with her grammar and... I just read the lines and heard a chav speak them, they were just so well-written. She seemed like a real character to me.

Granting that this book is probably not suitable for kids who read Harry Potter, it is most definitely suitable for all other readers because I think that you just learn so much from it and it's really, really good. It's not a masterpiece, I can say that, but it's not the worst book in the world.
I admit, the first 100 pages maybe weren't the most eventful (and hard to read), but if you make it past the Councillor's funeral, the party will most definitely start, I can guarantee you that.

This was my second book review, if you've missed my previous one (which was on The Book Thief) then click here to go to that one.
I am also reading One Day by David Nichols at the moment and I'm really close to finishing it and I will write something on that as well, so look forward to that!

I am really sorry it took so long to post something else, but I am extremely busy with school and it's taking a lot of my time and the wi-fi isn't the fastest either so apologies for that.
See you next time,
xxx Katherine


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