★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This year’s wildcards have all been opportunistic reads – a limited time availability for books that have sat on my TBR for years, or finally reaching the top of a library reservation list for a really popular read. The Wrong Side of Right was different. I wanted one of those easy YA reads, with a bit of the typical romance, but a plot that didn’t centre whole-heartedly on that. Oh, and it needed to be in an ebook format, available that very day. 11 searches later and I finally found one that fitted the criteria (at least from the outlook). And, yes, The Wrong Side of Right was perfect – from my crazy reading craving to the writing quality to the characterisation.
When I started reading The Wrong Side of Right, I had no real idea as to the effect it was having on me. It was topical (just a matter of luck, I guess), which was nice, and the plotline was both unique and engaging. However, it took me until the big catastrophe involving Andy to realise how emotionally involved I had become with the characters. In a subtle (yet EXTREMELY effective) manner, Thorne built up such a strong rapport between reader and characters that I felt a whole whirlwind of emotions surrounding Andy’s digression, much in the way Kate would have – both in defence of Andy and anger at him.
The Wrong Side of Right is not just a great YA read that avoids too heavy an emphasis on romantic relations (that in the setting would have been a little too farfetched) or has some stellar characterisation – there is also a level of maturity that brings the novel together as a work of art. Kate’s voice is clear throughout the novel, and whilst having the light-hearted nature of a teenager, it is simultaneously down-to-earth and sufficiently world weary for a seventeen year old. Using such a voice, Thorne ensures the novel is engaging, and yet gently hammers home the realism and seriousness of politics in everyone’s everyday lives.
If you’re stuck for a book to read this summer, The Wrong Side of Right is definitely a great place to start. It is a heart-warming and emotional rollercoaster that is extremely well-written, and can simply be read as this. However, Thorne also leaves subtle seeds for thought surrounding the implications of voting and democracy, encouraging an engaged and proactive audience of young people for the years ahead. Recent months have seen shocks and changes in the political climate, with important decisions occurring in the next year as well, making The Wrong Side of Right a topical and worthwhile read. Not to mention the fact that it is a stunning novel, and a debut that teems with promise.
Recommended for fans of:
- The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi
- The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien
- The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith