Review of The Hit by Melvin Burgess

Read: 2016, 2019

Rating: ⭐

Spoilers in review: Minor ones, but please don’t read this book

UPDATE 29/10/2019: I livetweeted my reread of this book! It was actually worse than I remembered! As well as being badly written, this book is homophobic, sexist, and extremely ableist! You can find my thread here!

It’s been a little while since I read this book, but I remember it well. In this case that’s not a good thing.

I’ll start this off by saying that I don’t often buy books in bookshops on a whim. I usually take note of them and then go and read some reviews to see if it’s worth it first. I didn’t do that here. The minimalist cover looked really cool and the premise sounded interesting enough for me to just buy it right then and there.

I should not have broken from my usual habit.

It took a third of the book to reach the point that the blurb tells you about. Immediately that’s a bad sign.

This novel deals heavily with gang violence, terrorism, suicide, rape, and domestic abuse, which are clearly not topics that young children should be reading about. However, the writing style itself seemed childish, and aimed at people much younger than myself (for reference, I was ~15 when I read this, so I was the intended audience). This was a jarring combination that had the eventual effect of making me laugh. It just didn’t make any sense.

The ‘Zealot’ plot was dumb, and clearly wish fulfillment on Burgess’s part. And what kind of political movement would call themselves ‘Zealots’ anyway? And what were they actually trying to acheive??????? I have no idea. Something to do with Communism? I don’t actually know. I could have forgotten it; as I said it’s been a while. But I think I was just as confused then. Also, I think the ‘Zealots’ had suicide bombers? Who were portrayed sympathetically and heroically???? (I got rid of this book so I can’t check but I’m pretty sure they were there) Sorry not sorry, that’s not okay.

Also I am very anti people-in-their-mid-twenties sleeping with teenagers-who-are-still-in-high-school regardless of the circumstances. That scene just should not have happened.

To summarise; good to laugh at the absurdity, terrible if you want to read something actually good.

Review written in 2016

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