A Reader Opines: 15 Days Without a Head by Dave Cousins

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15 Days Without a Head by Dave Cousins
Publication: May 8th 2013 by Flux (first published December 22nd 2011)
Genre: Young Adult | Coming of Age | Realistic Fiction
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

This is one of those books that appealed to me when I first heard of it, but other things got in the way. During my last visit to the library I could put it off no longer. It didn’t disappoint.

Summary taken from Goodreads:
Despite having a depressed alcoholic mother and a little brother who’s convinced he’s a dog, fifteen year-old Laurence Roach is trying to live a normal life. But when his mom doesn’t come home after work one night, Laurence is terrified that child services will find out she’s gone and separate him from his brother.

For two weeks, Laurence does whatever he can to keep her disappearance a secret. Spinning a web of complicated lies for friends, neighbors, and the authorities, Laurence even dresses like his mother to convince everyone she’s still around. By following clues, the brothers are finally able to track down their mother’s whereabouts. And that’s when the real trouble begins in this powerful story about what it means to be a family.

Sometimes the only way to survive your family is to love and forgive. That’s what the story is about and it is written with fluidity and brilliance. The plot unfolded one heartbreak at a time, making the reader despair along with the characters, and those characters are engaging.

Laurence claimed my sympathy, respect and a bit of my heart. The inner workings of his mind were heartbreaking and endearing. He faced distressing circumstances with maturity and while losing a bit of naiveté his innocence remained intact. His growth was beautiful to witness. His little brother and girlfriend added just enough levity to keep the story from being a complete downer. His Mum infuriated me even though I could see her weaknesses in myself.

Dave Cousins has made his mark and I look forward to his future books.

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