Joe is hooked from the moment he sees Candy. What is it that catches his eye? Is it her hair, her smile, or just the way she's standing? When they chat over coffee there's an instant attraction, but can love ever be this sweet? As the bitter truth about Candy's dangerous world emerges, Joe must decide if love and hope are worth fighting for.
It was the girl, of course. The girl from the station. The girl with the smile and the skin and the eyes. Joe is hooked from the moment he sees Candy. What is it that catches his eye? Is it her hair, her smile, or just the way she's standing? When they chat over coffee there's an instant attraction, but can love really be this sweet? Joe takes Candy deep into his soul. He thinks about her night and day, and even his music throbs to the sound of her name. But Candy also takes him somewhere else - to her world: a bitter place of drugs, violence and hopelessness. As the dark truth emerges, Joe must decide if love and hope - and Candy - are worth fighting for. And, find a way to escape the danger that loiters on every street corner.
Kevin Brooks (Kissing the Rain, Martyn Pig, Lucas) excels at portraying the gritty details of English underclass life, and here, in a story of a boy desperately in love, he has written an irresistibly suspenseful and compelling YA novel.
When Joe Beck, a fifteen-year-old suburban kid, gets lost in a disreputable neighborhood on his way to an appointment in London, he is struck dumb by his first sight of beautiful and seemingly innocent Candy. She talks with him, teases him, but reveals nothing about herself except her phone number. Later they have a perfect day at the London Zoo, and soon Joe is as addicted to Candy as she is to heroin, in spite of the threats of her menacing pimp Iggy.
Almost nothing matters except his desire to free her from her terrible life - not his band’s chance for a recording contract, not the song he has written for her that has become a hit without him. But there is something that still matters to him, and when he rescues the young prostitute from her sordid rooming house and takes her into hiding to sweat out her addiction, Iggy finds and uses that one thing that is stronger than Joe’s passion for Candy, in a heart-thumping, breathless conclusion. (Age 14 and up) - Patty Campbell -