The Half Life of Ryan Davis by Melinda Szymanik, Pear Jam Books, ISBN 9781927182406, RRP $19.99 paperback, $8.49 ebook, Available now.
You know how sometimes you get these ideas in your head for stories? Like “imagine writing a book about a unicorn… from the point of view of the unicorn!”¹ What I’m saying is, a great premise can make a book.
And in The Half Life of Ryan Davis, Melinda Szymanik has a great premise. What if you were the sibling of a missing child? Ryan Davis is 15 – the same age his older sister Mallory (shout out, 80s kids) was when she went missing. And she’s still missing, now presumed dead, only she looms over Ryan and his younger sister Gemma, particularly because their Mum now thinks of Mallory as the “perfect child”.
Part mystery, part family drama, part coming of age tale, The Half Life of Ryan Davis is unpredictable and a good read, and will have definite appeal to teen readers. I stayed engaged throughout and liked the genuine voices of the characters. It was a great, quick read with short chapters and action that persistently pushed the story forward.
In short, I will be lending this to one of the Teen Monsters to read. And you can’t get a better recommendation than that.