Published: May 3rd 2010, Walker Books
Pages: 352 pages (Paperback)
Summary (from back cover): Jack is obsessed by luck. He lets the toss of a coin rule his actions, whatever the risks. Chance brings him Jess, a beautiful singer who will change his life, but their luck won’t last forever.
During a night of heady recklessness, they run out of choices. Now it is the reader’s turn to take a risk! Spin a coin and determine life...or death.
What I liked: So I think everybody remembers those wonderful books from the 90’s, where you got to the end of a chapter and decided between two options how you wanted the book to continue. I remember there were some great ones in the Goosebumps series (which I adored, by the way) so I was really excited when I read the synopsis of Wasted and hoped it would be something similar.
Wasted is a more mature, sophisticated version of these books, which really explores chance and luck and how one tiny change can make a huge difference to the outcome of a situation. Wasted is an absolutely fascinating book and I read it in one sitting, after deciding I would only read one chapter to just get a feel for the book. I couldn’t resist!
Jess is a great lead, the narrator’s voice is chilling and there are so many near disastrous situations that I was absolutely gripped from beginning to end. The ending, I must say, is fantastic. After the book’s events rage to a terrifying climax, it’s up to the reader to spin and coin and decide between life and death. I forced myself to actually go this, instead of just going ahead and reading both endings – which I was really tempted to do. I actually span death, which made me feel a little uneasy but I went back to read the alternative endings and they were both brilliant.
Simply a joy to read – make time for this one and I promise you won’t regret it.
What I didn’t like: Well, it’s not something I didn’t like about the book but I have to say what a hateful villain Kelly was. To be blatant (and sorry to stereotyping) she is so much more than your run of the mill chav – she’s dangerous. She’s brilliantly written, absolutely ruthless and I’ll remember her for a long time.
First line: ‘Jess is spinning a coin.’
Final thoughts: A chilling look at luck and chance and how none of us are as in control of our lives as we think.
Read if you liked...: The Dice Man – Luke Rhinehart
Total: 17.5/20 (A)