K&T Mitchell (2012)
Reviewed by Elizabeth Mallak (age 15) for Reader Views (10/13)
A book about a young boy, bullied at school and rejected at home, stumbled across a mysterious young man willing to rid him of his bullying problems seemed like an amazing storyline, and so I found myself ordering this one-of-a-kind book, “Big Brother,” by Tracey Morait.
I’m sad, though, to admit my disappointment with this book, despite the intriguing storyline. Though there were some promising aspects throughout, the way it was written was itself confusing, but first let me go over the positives. Ash, a young boy different from the others, was the first thing that drew my attention in. Ash was different, not the normal jock or popular boy in school and I loved that. He was different and unique, with a hearing aid, and a poor life at home with his mother, which really gave a nice background to the book.
Also, the idea for the book was great! It was unique, something I’ve never heard of before. But once I started to read it I got confused real fast. It jumped around a lot, especially towards the end. And when Big Brother called Ash, Ashley, I was thrown for a loop wondering if Ash was in fact a girl, because his character was never explained in detail, but it was obvious he was a boy in a lot of the scenes in the book so I dismissed my confusion. Also, in one part there was something mentioned about making a call to the United States to call his father which confused me. Was Ash in some other country, and which one?
Ash was also a murky character, he seemed bitter to his mother and bullies, wishing them dead and hating them, then he was getting excited over their deaths or injuries. Yet he seemed not to want them dead in certain parts of the book, and sometimes he didn’t think he could live with the guilt.
The end also confused me, and disappointed me, throwing me for a loop I couldn’t find my way out of. Of course famous books like ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by Shakespeare, along with ‘the Red Badge of Courage’ by Stephen Crane also confused me, so I’ve never been one for overly complex books, especially ones that seem to jump from here to there without forewarning. This doesn’t mean I like my books simple, I just like them more detailed, and explained, so I can easily follow the path of the story.
So even though in the end “Big Brother” was a disappointment to me, maybe Tracey Morait will be the author for you. After all, the twists and turns, and plot were great; the detail just wasn’t enough for me and the end was a disappointment. I don’t recommend this book to anyone who gets confused easily, nor do I recommend this book to those of you who enjoy “living” in the book with the details and descriptions.