'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Monday, 16 November 2015

Review: Cloud 9

Life is wonderful. Why wouldn't it be? Most of the population takes a little pill called Leata, a drug that takes the edge off, well, pretty much everything. No need to be sad, or anxious, or angry. Just pop a pill and everyone's happy and everything's great.

There are a few who resist and don't take Leata. They're the outcasts, the weirdos, the people no one can understand. After all, why would anybody not want to be happy all the time?

Hope is sixteen and a blogger. She has so many followers that she's now sponsored by Leata — and she couldn't be happier. Before she started taking Leata she was in trouble all the time with her father, but now things are great between them.

Tom, who used to be Hope's best friend before Leata, doesn't take Leata and isn't Hope's friend anymore. His father didn't take Leata either, and now he's died suddenly. Tom doesn't believe the police verdict that it was suicide. Consumed by grief, Tom obsessively starts to investigate what really happened.

In Cloud 9, Alex Campbell has taken aspects of our current reality — the quest for happiness, our obsession with social media, the influence of the major pharmaceutical companies — and played with them to create a world that is both completely believable and absolutely terrifying. I won't say more, as I don't want to give away more of the plot, but this is a thought-provoking, intelligent read that is also a gripping page-turner. Highly recommended.

Title: Cloud 9
Author: Alex Campbell
Publisher: Hot Key Books, $16.95 RRP
Publication Date: September 2015
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781471403545
For ages: 14+
Type: Young Adult Fiction

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