It’s not often I give a book five stars, but this book I have loved since secondary school (High School).
Why do I love it?
Tim Lott is able to create believable characters from the get-go, I’ll explain more but first, here is a short synopsis of the plot.
City Community Faith School is an institution purporting to be a girl only boarding school. No one visits and children do not leave until they reach a certain age. However, it is not what it seems. Little Fearless goes on a mission to save all the girls.
In this story, all the girls are numbers, they have no identity and are not allowed to tell each other their real names. Some girls even forget what their real names are. However, they give each other nicknames, one of these is Little Fearless.
Little Fearless is unique as it is, she has two eyes that are different colours. However, Little Fearless remembers her mother and is worried about what happens when she gets older – because none of the other girls ever came back. With the help of her friends, Stench, Stargazer, Beauty and The Whistler among others, she escapes the institute, looking for help. None of the adults believes her, but she persists anyway, not giving up and going to some of the kids parents house.
However, each time The Commander discovers that someone has left the school and punishes all the girls when no one owns up. This means taking their identity away further than it had already been taken. All the girls’ hairs are shaven off, their clothes become a grey prison suit and more until Little Fearless friends turn against her.
It is a story about identity, loyalty and courage. When Little Fearless fails the third time, she owns up and is punished by being locked in a cell. The Commander gives her enough food to survive but will not release her from the cell until she submits and her spirit is broken.
Eventually, it is clear that the commander has a secret of his own. He pleads with Little Fearless, he wants her spirit to break so he can release her, yet if it was any other girl, he would probably leave her in there to die.
The characters are named by their traits. Little Fearless is the bravest one in the institute, which is why she is given that nickname. Beauty is seen as beautiful and Stargazer is a dreamer but also claims to see the future, this causes her to faint quite a lot. Stench has the job of making sure none of the girls are sneaking away in the dustbins – hence why she is called Stench and Lady Luck flicks a coin whenever she is asked to make a decision.
The school is split into X girls and Y girls. The X girls are superior, and usually, hate the Y girls. This is why Lady Luck can make decisions, she can choose what a Y girl’s punishment is and Little Fearless, Stargazer and Beauty are Y girls. However, the promise of freedom causes some of the X girls to befriend Little Fearless.
I really love this book, it kept me emotional all the way through Little Fearless’s Journey, engaged with the danger each time she escaped, pity when she lost her friends and sad at the end of the story. I have read it several times and I still recommend this book to people.
Let me know what you guys think.
If you like this book, feel free to also read my other book review Blame. Ant and Matthew’s journey is gripping from the first Paragraph.
Update on my Popsugar Reading Challenge, I read two books for the prompts – one is James and the Giant Peach, for the promt: A book with food in the title. The other was Erik German’s Dead Girls – for the prompt: True Crime Book. I have discovered that True Crime is not my cup of tea.
More Updates to come