Sunday, 23 May 2010

Inside My Head by Jim Carrington

Inside My Head
by Jim Carrington

Summary: Paul Knaggs looks forward to school. Because at school he can rip Gary Wood to shreds.

And Gary just takes it - usually.

David is Knaggs's friend. He does what Knaggs says - usually.

Zoë has moved from London to the middle of nowhere. As far as she's concerned, life is over. And then she meets the school loner, Gary.

Gary - Knaggs - David - Zoë. When their stories collide, things get messy.

-Summary from the back of the book.

I loved this book and honestly, that surprised me, it isn't the kind of book I'd choose to read normally.

Heres the thing: I'm really weird about books set in Britain. Usually, they tend to bore me or annoy me and only fantasy stories like Harry Potter have managed to keep it interesting enough for me to finish the stories (perhaps it's the lack of novelty of the setting and culture, seeing as I'm from the UK) but this book was an exception - I was never bored while reading it and I read it in one sitting.

It isn't some epic romance or adventure, it's just... real.

With movies, you get the Hollywood Blockbuster types and then you have indie movies. Inside My Head felt kind of like the book equivelant of an indie movie, it had that same realistic feel to it and it was very character driven.

I love that it didn't sugarcoat anything and it was very... raw. And British. The Britishness of the book was kind of a shock to the system because I'm not used to reading books set here (something I may have to change now, thanks to this book).

A lot of people will relate to the characters (whether you're a teenager or not). There's David, torn between doing the right thing and loyalty his best friend and Zoe, the girl who wants to help Gary and be his friend, even if that gets in the way of her desire to fit in. And then there is Gary, who is being bullied and just wants it all to stop and for his life to be how it used to be when things were still good.

Really, I think everyone has been in one of the characters shoes in some way before.

The emotions of the characters, their lives, they're all so realistic and I found myself really caring what happened to them. I wanted David to do the right thing, I wanted to be Gary's friend so I could help him, I wanted to whack Knaggs upside the head and tell him to stop being so awful and that he would regret being such a bully when he grows up and then there's Zoë... her heart was in the right place but she wasn't perfect and I've known girls just like her, I've been that girl before too, to an extent.

Weirdly, there is literally only one thing I hated about the book and it was the repetition of the insult "pebblehead" - maybe it's because I'm from Scotland and this was set in a certain part of England, but that just seemed like such an odd thing for them to call each other. And that just proves how much I loved the book, that is the only negative I can think of.

It's a really well written story and it has a good lesson, it shows how not saying anything and standing by watching bad things happen can be just as bad as being the one throwing the insults or punches. It shows the consequences bullying can have and what it can do to a person and the ripple effect it can have - Jim Carrington actually managed to show a whole bunch of possible outcomes without making them all happen, just by showing the thoughts running through Gary's head.

Basically, I loved it and you should go read it.



  1. Sounds really good! I am pretty iffy on Britain-based books, but with the exception of Harry potter, but your review seems to say that this book is really good! I will defiently read it!

  2. Mhmm, I'm the same with books set in the UK... I didn't realise it until recently but the only books I've been unable to finish have been British ones and none of my favourites are set here other than Harry Potter (the maybe exception is Stolen by Lucy Christopher which has a British protagonist and some flashbacks set in the UK).

    With this book, it probably depends on your personal taste whether you'll like it or not, but I loved it even if it was different to my usual preference when it comes to books. :]



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