No Alarms

Author(s): Bernard Beckett

Young Adult Fiction (Ages 13+)

The story revolves around Sharon, who lives with her mother, Kaz, and brother Zinny. Sharon's in trouble at school, hates her home life and blames the system for her failures. She is in a classic downward spiral and desperate to find a way out. Her escape route is through Justin, who is running a clever burglary scheme with his brother. She convinces Justin to let her in on the scam so she can make some fast money - believing that money will solve all her problems. Of course she is double-crossed by her burglary colleagues, and finds herself in a frightening situation. In a surprise ending Sharon manages to turn the tables and finally take control of things, with the help of a sympathetic teacher and unexpected friend . The outstanding authenticity of Sharon's life is superbly handled. Her voice is spot on, as is Kaz's, and the psychology is sound. The tone is sympathetic but the author never intrudes, allowing Sharon to tell her own story, dig her own holes, and get out of them if she can. There is a wonderful evocation of the mother/ daughter relationship - all the resentment, jealousy, honesty, and downrightness as well as the fierce loyalty and love.
Sharon's occasional moments of maturity are well drawn too - her attitude to Zinny, her insight into the way the world works. It sits so uncomfortably yet believably alongside her own hopefulness and naivety about what she's doing. Sharon is a classic teenager in a classic situation which few NZ writers have been able to explore with such perception.


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Product Information


General Fields

  • : 9781877135750
  • : Random House New Zealand Ltd
  • : Longacre Press
  • : 0.185
  • : October 2002
  • : 196mm X 130mm
  • : New Zealand
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Bernard Beckett
  • : Paperback
  • : 2002
  • : 823
  • : 183