Thursday, 15 January 2015

The Promise of an Open Door

The Door that Led to Where - Sally Gardner
Available - January 2015

"When the present offers no hope for the future, the answers may lie in the past"

This comment from publisher Hot Key Books for me, pretty much sums up the feel of this remarkable book. Sally is known for breaking all the rules when it comes to adhering to genre and this offering is no exception! If pushed I would describe it as contemporary YA fiction with a hint of mystery, a dash of Sherlock Holmesesq crime solving and a significant quota of Time Travel - intrigued? Great!

AJ is our leading man who after not exactly excelling in his GCSEs (HSC or ATAR equivalent here) is staring down the barrel of unemployment and all the unpleasantness life in the lower reaches of London society has to offer. His two best mates are faring even worse, getting mixed up in gang politics, dodgy drug deals and just generally being on the wrong side of the law but when AJ is offered a job as a junior clerk with an esteemed law firm it's not only his employment status that changes, the ripples of this one opportunity are extremely far reaching and not at all what you would expect. 

What I loved most about this novel was the assumption placed upon the reader that conversational tone in YA doesn't need to be dumped down. It also really made me examine today's society and the emphasis it places on the results of inconsequential exams to the future success of an individual…when did being a useful and practical person cease to be enough? Why must everything a person is and could be capable of, weighed and measured within the confines of a system that clearly doesn't work for everyone?

Travel outside the box and through the Door that Led to Where!

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