First off, that to Dave at espresso coco for recommending this stellar book!
Secondly, I have a friend who did a teacher exchange in Scotland several years ago. Immediately after finishing this book I sent her an email about it. The very next day she downloaded it and zipped through it in a matter of hours. I had a conversation with her today about it. She was taken not only by the story but Johnstone’s descriptions of different neighborhoods of Edinburgh. And she is on to more of his works!
Now to my review:
Tyler is just trying to do right by his sister… get her to school on time and make sure she has enough to eat while growing up in one of the worst tenements in Edinburgh. But his addict mother and coked-out step siblings do not make things easy. His mother, Angela, is in a constant drug-addled haze and is unable to kick the habit, so he is the sole caregiver of six-year-old, Bean. And his older brother, Barry, forces him to take part in burglaries in high-end neighborhoods around the city. Things have obviously already starting to break down in the family, but when they hit a house that belongs to a well-connected criminal the authorities and the underground are on their tails.
A seventeen-year-old in the midst of constant familial crisis and an atmosphere of cut throat danger make Breakers an excellent thriller. It was a sharp weekend read for me that I zipped through in just a couple sittings. It’s a raw and edgy story, but there is hope. Tyler shoulders so much of the responsibility of the family and has few allies he can depend on. Almost by fate he runs into another young person from the other side of the tracks who may be able to help him with these many problems. The initial friendship and a little romance with a person he can trust. Flick is a young woman with her own set of issues, but when they are together, things seem a bit better.
Recommended for a reader who likes a thriller that deals with the darkness of humanity, but also a resilience in a character who you will definitely root for.
I highly recommend Breakers. Pick it up!