Radical by E.M. Kokie – Book Review

Click here to buy Radical

This realistic contemporary novel is for mature young adults and up. I say that because it has some light lesbian sexual interplay. But it is a worthy read for any young adult especially those concerned about an upcoming societal collapse.

Bex, short for Rebecca, is a 16-year-old obsessed with survival in the upcoming chaos. She is a gay young woman who is not yet come out but her clothes and hair and demeanour mark her as someone different. Her parents do not accept her as she is and her mother is driven to change her and make her fit in with her idea of a daughter.

Bex loves guns. This concept is so foreign to me I thought I might have trouble connecting, but the author, E. M. Kokie, smoothly brings us into the world of rifles, hand guns, bows and arrows, and more. Whether or not we believe in society’s eminent collapse and the necessity of strategic preparation, we understand how deeply Bex does.

The author deftly steers us in one disastrous direction and then presents us with another, more surprising but also more logical, disaster. Bex, who has done nothing but train to prevent ever becoming helpless or under the control of another, finds herself in exactly that situation. For the sake of her family, she endures the unendurable. She must make the most difficult decision of her life. The consequences will change her future and all her relationships forever.

Seldom does a book ever keep me up to three in the morning reading but by the time I was halfway through, I was committed to finishing it. Bex may be as different from me as morning is from night, but I wanted this girl to survive intact and couldn’t sleep not knowing what was going to happen to her. There are no happy endings in real life but the author leaves us with hope for a better life for a courageous, loyal, young woman who was never given a break.

I received this book as a free Library Thing Giveaway.


Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages


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