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Review: Naked by Kevin Brooks

Naked by Kevin Brooks
Published by Penguin
Challenge: BBC

London, 1976: a summer of chaos, punk, love ...and the boy they called Billy the Kid. It was the summer of so many things. Heat and violence, love and hate, heaven and hell. It was the time I met William Bonney - the boy from Belfast known as Billy the Kid. I've kept William's secrets for a long time, but now things have changed and I have to tell the truth. But I can't begin until I've told you about Curtis Ray. Hip, cool, rebellious Curtis Ray. Without Curtis, there wouldn't be a story to tell. It's the story of our band, of life and death ...and everything in between. This characteristically gripping novel from award-winning author Kevin Brooks will rock you to the core.

Naked is one of those books by a well established author that you just know is going to be huge. While not entirely for me as I'm not sure I'm into the topic it covered I enjoyed reading it and I'm sure someone far more into music than me (or someone who can remember those early days of Punk) will devour and love it.

The thing that struck me most about this book is that the main characters voice is so brilliantly realistic. Reading this is actually like reading the diary of a teenage girl (granted without all the soppiness -Lili is in a punk band you know). I loved learning about the early punk scene through her eyes.

There were several elements to the story that I enjoyed.

I liked seeing the relationships Lili built up with both Curtis and with William and enjoyed seeing how completely different those relationships were. I will admit now to being a William fan and therefore this meant I spend a vast amount of the book hoping he and Lili would get it together.

Those people who are looking to get this for school libraries younger teens I would certainly advise caution with younger children as there are a lot of drug / sexual references / swearing which might not be entirely appropriate for very young teenagers although I imagine this will be the entire reason why older ones would love it.

As I said enjoyed learning about the early punk scene through Lili and loved the edginess it brought to the book.

This book also added an interesting storyline involving the IRA troubles in the 1970s which is one part of the book which I personally found fascinating especially as it gave a lot of insight both into the political situation at the time for ordinary people but also into the mind set of people fighting on either side.

All in all a book which I think is going to be highly successful and earn many fans both young and old.


I love music so I think Im gunna really love this one! I cant wait to get my hands on it. Im sorry to hear it wasnt for you!