This, as an Amazon reviewer also put it, is a truly hypnotic read. "Wasted" is told in an unusual third person present (read the first chapter here) which I was worried might make my brain ache, but actually made it all the more compelling, I would URGE people to go read this. Young, old, whatever. It's a brilliant piece of writing, and one which compels you to want to read on and on and on until you're properly full up with it. Master stroke of story-telling. And the ending is just inspired.
When Ty witnesses a stabbing, his own life is in danger from the criminals he’s named, and he and his mum have to go into police protection. Ty has a new name, a new look and a cool new image – life as Joe is good, especially when he gets talent spotted as a potential athletics star, special training from an attractive local celebrity and a lot of female attention. But his mum can’t cope with her new life, and the gangsters will stop at nothing to flush them from hiding. Joe’s cracking under extreme pressure, and then he meets a girl with dark secrets of her own. This wonderfully gripping and intelligent novel depicts Ty/Joe's confused sense of identity in a moving and funny story.
"When I was Joe" is another fantastic piece of story-telling. I can't remember the last time I whizzed through a book so effortlessly and so thrillingly. I found myself in turns being Joe/his mother/his best friend and I so badly wanted to jump in and help him on his quest and couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen to him next. Read the first chapter here. The sequel, called "Almost True" comes out this September, so.... what are you waiting for?