Eeeny Meeny

Eeny Meeny by M J Arlidge (Penguin, 2014)
Introduced by Ellie Wait 
When I remember my time at secondary school, I can vividly recall a motivational poster in my form room all about perseverance and as somebody who has quite a severe case of ‘butterfly brain’ I often struggle with this. I often catch myself meandering from task to task or in this case, book to book. This means that I usually have about 4 books on the go at once and if one doesn’t immediately fill me with longing to reach the conclusion they seem to drift away from my bedside cabinet and back onto the book shelf.
Eeny Meeny certainly started to drift but there was just one thing that kept me coming back. I loved that the characters were all flawed. At no point were people presented as heroines or warriors. They were presented as regular people in treacherous circumstances: Gruesome circumstances in fact. Simultaneously however, they were battling with their own personal lives. It was this character development that kept me going.
The first two thirds of the book I found to be a little slow. There was a lot of back story, wordy descriptions and important (yet dull) interactions between characters however, I persevered! (My year 7 form tutor would be so proud of me!) The persistence was worth it.
The final third of the book was everything I could have hoped for. The investment I had made in the characters during the parts that I had considered dry meant the climax was brimming with unapologetically gory suspense.
I finished reading the final few chapters of this book on a busy train because I couldn’t wait until I got home. It wasn’t until I closed the book that I realised I had been ‘ooohing’ and ‘arrrrring’ out loud much to the other travellers dismay. In fact, I think I swore quite loudly at a particularly taxing moment but isn’t that the point of a book? Escapism?
Overall I have two points for you to consider if you are going to read Eeny Meeny:
1) Persevere
2) Don’t read it on a train
Ellie Wait works part-time for UCAN Productions and is a regular contributor to A Book a Day in Hay.

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