Published: 6 October 2022
Author: Kel Duckhouse
Published by: Flying Eye Books
Length: 220 pages
Reading dates: 3-6 October 2022
Living on an East London council estate has its worries – and life for 15 year old Molly hasn’t always been easy. But she has a dream, a dream to be a boxer just like her older brother Denny. When he agrees to train her, she couldn’t be more excited. But one night everything changes. There’s an assault outside Molly’s local boxing club, Denny’s nowhere to be found and the police are after him. Molly must prove her brother’s innocence and delve into the underbelly of East London, and her family history where new and old secrets are revealed…
I love a book written in verse since discovering Sarah Crossan a few years ago. I don’t see many of them about so when Flying Eye Books got in touch to see if I would be interested in reading The Bones of Me and describing it as being a mixture of verse and prose, it certainly piqued my interest!
The Bones of Me is a teen novel (it’s been described as young adult, but I think it is certainly suitable for teenagers as there is no strong language or sexual content). The story is told from the point of view of Molly who looks up to her adored older brother Denny who is an amateur boxer. He encourages her to try boxing herself and she finds she loves it and enjoys going to Frank’s gym to train. But on the night of her first fight, Denny doesn’t come. Molly is gutted and loses the fight.
Soon the police are investigating a murder near the gym and Denny is the chief suspect, especially as he is nowhere to be found. Molly and her family can’t believe he is involved, and Molly and her best friend Kwaku start to dig around to see if they can find Denny and prove his innocence.
I loved the mix of prose and verse – it worked really well together. I also liked the way the author played around with the formatting to tell the story. Molly’s life is not easy – her family are poor, and she is ashamed of her non branded sports gear. Her dad is depressed, and Molly thinks he is a looser but doesn’t know the whole story.
I liked the idea of a female character who likes boxing and Molly is a good character – I liked reading her thoughts and she is honest and brave. I also liked her relationship with her brother.
The Bones of Me is a well-crafted and highly original debut and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Thank you so much to Maryam at Flying Eye Books for sending me a finished copy of The Bones of Me along with some other goodies.
About the author
Kel Duckhouse was born in Leytonstone, London. She currently lives with her three children in Wiltshire, where she works as an Author, Poet and Spoken Word Artist. Kel graduated with distinction from Bath Spa University, where she studied a Masters in Writing for Young People. Kel started her career as a poet and performer and loves works with musicians to put her poetry to music. The Bones of Me is her debut novel. When she’s not writing, she’s campaigning for social causes or dying her hair pink. Her dream is to buy a camper van and travel the UK and Europe writing.