Twenty Questions for Gloria is the new YA read from Martyn Bedford.
Fifteen year old Gloria is drawn to Uman, a newcomer at her school. He's unlike the other boys, in both manner and mind. He sees through her 'perfect' life to the boredom that simmers below the surface. And it is that boredom that has her rashly accepting his offer to go on an 'adventure'.
And here's where the great tag line on the cover comes in to play...."Two go missing - one comes back."
It is Gloria who returns. What happened? Gloria's family and friends, the reader - and the police want to know. The answers are to be found in the twenty questions of the police interview.
I thought this way of telling Gloria's story was unique. Each question reveals a little more and we slowly learn the truth. But we are also privy to Gloria's thoughts - and some of the things she decides to keep private.
There is the mystery of what happened of course, but the thrust of the book is an exploration of young love, self examination and an emotional snapshot of teen life, angst, hopes and dreams.
I too, was drawn to Uman - Bedford has created an unusual, intriguing protagonist. His dialogue is witty, his actions - although somewhat rash - are true to his own self. His background is sad, but for me he has a resilience that is innate. So, for this reader, it was Gloria's slow self realization that I became invested in. With each question and answer, we see how her awareness grew over the time away.
When I was young, I was offered a chance to go on an 'adventure' as well. I said no, but after reading the book I wondered - what if I'd said yes? The ending was just right - and what I had hoped for. Read an excerpt of Twenty Questions for Gloria. You can connect with Martyn Bedford on his website.