AUTHOR: Graham J. Sharpe
LENGTH: 350 pages
SUMMARY: (via amazon.com) After a purple storm sweeps around Planet Earth, stealing millions of people, four teenagers struggle to make it alone in London. Drawn together by a series of bizarre coincidences, they soon find themselves entangled with a bunch of interfering pensioners…
REVIEW: I’ve been working on Purple for a while. I keep trying to like it and trying to finish it but I’ve finally admitted defeat. I love books set in England so I was sure I would like this one. And while the dialogue is delightfully British, and the characters just the right combination of quirky and independent, the story itself fell a little short.
The premise of the book is fantastic and I was so intrigued to get started. What was The Purple and why did it only take the middle generations? Why did it “repair” the elderly and make the young almost immune to disease? Why are these four people having a “shared” dream and waking with mysterious roses? The basic problem in getting answers to all these questions is that it takes so bloody long to get to the point. The summary on the back of the book makes it sound as though these four teens are working together from the beginning but their paths don’t cross until halfway through the book. There is so much exposition about the four main characters that I almost forgot that there was another plot I was supposed to be following.
Sharpe is a good writer and there aren’t the editing issues one might be accustomed to seeing in epublished books. The dialogue is funny and the resilience of those left behind after Purple Monday is inspiring. It did make me wonder how the world would react if only teens were left to run things. Being a middle school teacher, the thought makes me shudder, but Sharpe has provided an optimistic view of our youths’ potential. I look forward to seeing what he writes in the future. Don’t count him out just yet.