Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Andrew Norriss - MIKE - Book Review (David Fickling) Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

Floyd is a star of under-18s tennis. Since he was little, all he's ever known is the routine of training, of the matches, of trying to be the best. But something strange is happening. A boy called Mike has started turning up - a boy no one else can see. He keeps appearing whenever Floyd is playing tennis and making him lose his game. 

Floyd needs to discover what Mike wants - and what that will mean for him, and where his life is headed. Floyd is at the start of a journey that will lead him into a headlong collision with his family, girls, friendship, and self-discovery.

This is another book from David Fickling that hits the mark both on and off the tennis court. It is a fantastic story from the award-winning author, Andrew Norriss. Mike will be served to the public on the 4th January 2018 and will be a definite ace. The book cover has been illustrated by David Sheldon. The two key themes (fish and tennis balls) have been integrated to produce a visually stimulating design.  

My expectations of this book were not particularly high. Whilst I liked the idea of tennis and sport as part of the story, the blurb to accompany the proof copy did not really appeal to me. However, the mystery person (known as MIKE) really did capture my interest and was particularly intriguing. No sooner had I started reading, I found that Floyd's narrative was whispering inside my head. I connected with him so quickly that the story flashed by me quicker than a Milos Raonic serve. The inner voice was sealed inside my brain. I haven't read a book so quickly in such a long time. I really wanted to know more. 

This story is absolutely brilliant. It is very different as it takes a unique look at character behaviour and Floyd's state of mind. The plot explores the conscious/unconscious experiences and places them into the story cleverly. It is a psychological path of self-discovery involving Floyd's destiny. 

It's a beautiful, poignant story with very moving consequences. The book slips by in an undercurrent of family, friendship, and a large number of councilling sessions. It is a book that highlights the reality and the big world outside the reader's armchair. It provides an up-lifting feeling to get out there and do something amazing. This book will make you look at yourself on the outside, as well as the inside.

I cannot praise this book enough - it is astonishingly good. I am not usually a lover of reality-themed books. I tend to gravitate towards fantasy books and magical tales. However, this absolutely bowled me over and really developed my understanding of the complex nature of growing up with a talent. Whilst it is important to nurture there is obviously a fine line between developing and forcing. It really is difficult being a parent and getting the balance just right. This is a must read for both children and their parents. I'm looking forward to finding out your thoughts.

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