READ 4 February 2012
MY RATING 4 / 5
This book was reviewed for and on behalf of the Kindle Book Review.
The eagle eyed readers of my blog amongst you will have noticed that Rebecca Burkes The Ahimsa Club was not due to be read by me for at least another week… however having just read a fantastic crime/thriller, I didn’t think it was fair to the next crime/thriller author to be expected to follow…. So with that in mind I decided to pick up another one of my books, and this one appealed to me.
So, let me start by saying that this book is aimed at the young adult (YA) that this book is aimed at the young adult market, but, like many YA books, this can easily cross over to the adult market too.
The book follows the story of Valerie, who following an evening meal of veal, is made aware of the way in which meat is reared for human consumption. A week later at a school assembly, the ‘inspirational person’ is a animal rights activist, who awakens a number of students to some of the issues championed by ‘PAW’ – the organisation the activist is linked to.
For animal lovers, this book will be difficult to read in parts – and I openly admit that some sections I skim read, as I find the mis-treatment of animals difficult to read about. But it’s important to set the context in which Valerie and her friends are living in.
This book isn’t solely about animal rights, although it is clear from Burke’s knowledge on the subject that she is passionate about the issues, but it is also about the challenges that face teenagers; peer pressure, parental expectations and ‘boys’. The politics of local schools also interplays in this story too.
What Burke does excellently is to portray a sensitive and political issue in a good way, but also using the characters in order to show how peer pressure and ignorance can be overcome, and that, actually if you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything.
This book will be of particular interest I suspect to those YAs that feel sidelined by their friends as they grow up and take divergent interests and also to those animal rights organisations who are seeking to awaken an awareness in YAs; Burke does so in a nice, easy non threatening manner and her books are a joy to read.