Title: Born Scared
By: Kevin Brooks
Published: September 11th 2018
By: Candlewick Press (MA)
Genre: ARC|YA|Contemporary|Thriller|Mental Health
Buy it: Book Depository
Elliot has lived his first thirteen years confined to his home, incapacitated by fear. Now he’s out of pills, snow is falling, and his only safe person is missing. A terrifying thriller from Carnegie Medalist Kevin Brooks.
From the moment of his birth, Elliot’s life has been governed by fear of almost everything, even of his own fear — a beast that holds him prisoner in his room. The beast is kept at bay, though not eliminated, with a daily regimen of pills. But on Christmas Eve, a mix-up at the pharmacy threatens to unleash the beast full force, and his mother must venture out in a raging snowstorm to a store that should be only minutes away. Hours later, when she still hasn’t returned, Elliot sees no choice but to push through his terror, leave the house, and hunt for her. What happens if the last of his medication wears off and the beast starts scratching at the doors of his mind? Everyone has a breaking point — will Elliot come to his? With plot twists and turns that keep readers on the edge of their seats, multi-award-winning author Kevin Brooks offers a high-suspense exploration of fear and what it means to truly be afraid.
🌟 I want to thank Candlewick Press and NetGalley for providing me with this copy in exchange for an honest review🌟
This is a kind of strange book being honest, but I think it was an interesting and new experience for me. It’s a pretty short story with a fixed central plot and I liked that, I liked that although it’s short, it’s very intense and you can really feel everything that happens to the main character in a very raw and real way.
The book follows the story of Elliot. He’s a thirteen-year-old boy who fears of almost everything since he’s only a baby, he lives isolated in his room specially built for him and his needs, but he’s also helped by a pills that he takes daily which help him with his illness, making it the every day easier. On Christmas day something happens and his mother must leave the house for a few hours to look for her son’s medicine, but she never comes back and Elliot’s forced to go out and look for her, and it’s from here that the story begins and Elliot must face her worst fears
This book focuses on a mental illness as the main theme throughout the book, and I honestly feel that I must say it, in case some people are sensitive to this kind of thing, especially because I’m not sure if it was touched in a correct way, because I have no information about it. Personally I liked knowing more about this illness, but at the same time I feel like it fell short of information, I would have liked to know a little more
I didn’t expect it to be as dark as it was, it’s a rather dark thriller, where we see the main character have hallucinations and be lost in his own mind under the effects of his illness and honestly see everything he was going through and how the author described it was really scary, I can’t imagine what it would be like to live in this way, with a constant fear to the point that it becomes something physical, it’s really hard to read about it.
In a beginning it may be somewhat disorganized, the change between one character and another felt kind of weird and we don’t know what role they take in the story and what has to do with Elliot, but after the 50%, take shape and I think that makes sense. Although there are no very memorable characters really
I was more interested in following Elliot all the time so the other points of view didn’t really catch my attention, although in the end all the stories connect in a very good way and I liked that. It was very interesting to see Elliot leave his comfort zone and face the outside world, it broke my heart to see how every simple thing in our life was a challenge for him, and if I think about it, he faced it all for his mother and the love he has for her and that was very brave. On the other hand, I think the author gave a very mature voice to a 13 year old boy, and that felt weird , I didn’t mind at the time of reading, but I feel like you forget the true age of the character at times because he talks and reasons as an adult
I feel that I love the beginning much more than the end, I don’t think it was a good closing for the story, I understand what the author wanted to show but I think it felt very open and I don’t always enjoy those types of endings, it was strange for me I expected a better conclusion.
So, I recommend it, although I feel it’s not for everyone, there’s something in it that makes it heavy, intense and brutal, and it can be difficult if you’re a sensitive person, especially since it touches a very sensitive issue like a mental illness. If you’re looking for a strong and short thriller it’s perfect for you