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Review: Dying to Know you by Aidan Chambers

Dying to Know You by Aidan Chambers
Published by Bodley Head

In Dying to Know You, award-winning author Aidan Chambers has created an indelible portrait of a young man discovering his own voice in the world, and has constructed a love story that is as much about the mind as it is the heart.
In this contemporary love story, a teenage boy named Karl enlists a famous writer to help him impress his girlfriend, Fiorella. She has asked him to write her a letter in which he reveals his true self. But Karl isn’t convinced he’s good enough with words, so he tracks down Fiorella’s favorite author and begs him to take up the task. The writer reluctantly assents, on the condition that Karl agree to a series of interviews, so that the letter will be based on an authentic portrait of Karl. The letter, though effective, has unexpected consequences for Karl, Fiorella, and the writer.


 This book is like nothing else I have ever read.

The relationship between Karl and the old man author is interesting. It's not one I've seen similair of in any YA novel and it made for something a bit unique and different. Likewise being narrated by this older gentleman gives it a different twist as you see the story from his perspective. I don't think I know of any other YA novel that does this.

It is a really fast read. I sat down just to read a chapter or two then suddenly found I was over halfway through without even realising it. That said this isn;t due to pace. Often if I read a book quickly it is because it is pacey. this book isn't at all. I just found the voice unusual and engaging enough to be interested to want to know where the story goes.

I personally think this is going to be a book that adult readers rave about and point as as an excellent YA read and will be, as a result, nominated for awards. I don't think necessarily the Young Adults it is intended for will take to it in the same way purely because the narrator is the age of their Grandparents. I'll be interested to see what they think.


I enjoyed this but since I'm in my twenties, I'm a bit older than the intended audience. I wonder if it will be enjoyed. I also agree with your point about the pacing-I think the fact that it was so dialogue heavy made it easy to become absorbed. If it had been endless pages of description, I probably would have fallen asleep.

I really enjoyed this one too but I think I agree that teens might not relate as much because its told form the older gentlemans perspective, I loved how easy it was to fly through too :)