Mice – Gordon Reece



Macmillan Children’s Books

My Rating - 4  stars

Sixteen year old Shelley and her mum have been born with the victim gene – Shelley has been on the receiving end of an intensive, malevolent bullying campaign by former girlfriends and her mum has been through a difficult divorce with Shelley’s dad finding a younger, fresher partner.  They are quite simply “mice”, meek little creatures scuttling around not making much impression on the outside world so they retreat to the safe tranquillity of Honeysuckle Cottage, far from the madding crowd.   In their secluded bolt-hole, they should be safe and sound, Shelley preparing for her exams and her mum trying to keep their heads above water in a low paid job well below her abilities and qualifications.  However, change comes knocking at the door  or rather, sneaking in a window, when an unwanted visitor shows up disturbing the nest – will the mice show their teeth when faced with adversity or will they squeak and beat a hasty retreat?

I found this a gripping, unputdownable read, one which I devoured in one sitting as I just had  to find out what fate had in store for Shelley and her mother.  The first part of the novel is quite slow paced but nonetheless riveting, as we see the build up of the bullying campaign against Shelley – you really feel for her as she is turned upon by her once close friends.  There is a brief period of calm with the removal to Honeysuckle Cottage but you just know that something is lurking, something which will break the short-lived spell of serenity and the tension is palpable.  What ensues might be disturbing for sensitive readers so I would recommend this for the older, more mature end of the YA market.  Some of the events might seem a bit far-fetched but this is a piece of entertaining, fast paced fiction and not a treatise on How To Be Good.

An exciting, thought provoking  read – it will raise lots of interesting questions about how far we would go to survive and to what extent the end justifies the means – food for thought indeed.

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One Comment

  1. Iris says:

    This sounds interesting, though I can see how the story might turn out a bit heavy. To be honest, that comment made me a little hesitant to put it on the wishlist.. But then, you mentioned the discussion topics and I think I’m sold :)

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