This post is part of a blog tour organised by Random Things Blog Tours. I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.
‘Life has become stale for best friends Mackie and Sharon, who never imagined they’d end up working in a scrapyard.
‘Sharon has dreams of becoming a cruise ship star, while a browbeaten Mackie cares for his wayward daughter’s twins.
‘But fate takes an unexpected turn when a mysterious kid is discovered in the boot of a car. He has a remarkable gift – he can draw visions of the future, and this opens up new avenues that neither could have foreseen…’
In Scrap, by Kathy Biggs, we follow scrapyard worker Mackie, as well as his colleagues and friends Sharon and Trev, after a 13-year-old boy, Riley, is found living in one of the old cars.
Despite having a lot on his plate already, Mackie ends up in loco parentis when Riley leaves hospital, and the trio persuade Riley to open up about who he is and where he came from.
One thing they learn is that Riley can draw things that haven’t happened yet, in places he’s never been. This unusual gift helps all three of them face up to truths they’ve been avoiding, and make changes.
I very much enjoyed Scrap, particularly the interesting, down-to-earth characters, as well as the light humour that features throughout.
The author does a great job of telling an uplifting story and imparting positive messages – about being right where you’re meant to be, and the wisdom of making small, doable changes rather than trying to change everything overnight – while avoiding saccharinity.
She achieves this by furnishing Mackie and Riley especially with sad pasts and difficult present circumstances, and doesn’t stint when it comes to hard-hitting themes such as violence, alcohol and drugs, and suicide, which she writes sensitively about.
All four principal characters’ experiences, hopes, and dreams are revealed gradually, and this kept me turning the pages. I also loved the care and humour that runs through their interactions with one another.
Biggs additionally does well to keep Riley’s powers limited, and their effects on the other characters realistic. At the point of creation, Riley doesn’t know the what, when, or why of his drawings, so things aren’t made too easy.
In fact, a considerable chunk of the characters’ new understandings of themselves and each other come from thinking about what the images could mean, and their premature journeys to the locations together, rather than the scenes themselves when they come to pass.
As suggested above, the changes they ultimately choose to make are believeable and manageable, as opposed to radical and rapid.
The setting, time-frame, and overall tone make Scrap very different from Biggs’ previous novel, The Luck. I can’t wait to see what she brings out next!
Scrap is uplifting and heart-warming without being saccharine.