One of the best online platforms in the UK for children’s and teenage fiction is to be found on The Guardian‘s website, where most of the reviews are written by young people themselves – the very readers authors like me are writing for. So it’s particularly pleasing to have found this wonderful review there for Twenty Questions for Gloria.
Here’s an abridged version of it:
“Gloria’s in a police interview room with her mum and an inspector. She’s just come home from being on the run with Uman Padeem, who’s still missing. She’s there voluntarily, but they want to get to the bottom of what happened. So, with all the newfound attention from the press, she’s here, she’s missing Uman but she’s got answers. And they’re asking her twenty questions.
Martyn Bedford is an author who has many awards to his name with Flip, which I’m dying to read now. And whilst some people may find Twenty Questions for Gloria a difficult and confusing book to read, I really enjoyed it. This book has been written in a really unique and interesting way. It’s always fun to see an author’s take on storytelling, and the way of telling this tale in a format that is almost like a transcript of a police interview is something I’ve certainly never seen before.
The book feels like it should be a Sherlock Holmes style novel and I mean that in the best way possible because it has that allure and mystery, and yet still keeps it humble with its quirky characters, romance-on-the-side and it’s an amazing novel to read. You’re caught up in the mystery yourself because you don’t know if Uman still exists or not and you start wanting to know what happened to him as much as Gloria, her mum and the police do. We know Uman from anecdotes, and he’s one of these mysterious characters that we never get to know from the character themselves, just through what other characters say about them. That takes a lot to pull off in my opinion, and Martyn Bedford deserves a lot of recognition for that.”
To read the review in full or to check out the rest of The Guardian‘s children’s books site, click here.