Book Review: The Radleys by Matt Haig

The Radleys by Matt HaigWhen I heard about this book on Knitting and Sundries I was immediately interested. Julie held a giveaway, I entered, and I won! When I received the book, a beautiful hardback, I knew this was going to be good.

The Radleys: What it is about

The Radleys are a normal family, a GP father (family doctor), a mother, and two teenage kids. Rowan is being bullied at school while Clara has just one friend, new girl Eve. They are all pale, prefer the shade, and have problems sleeping at night (though not during the day!).

Clara has recently turned vegan but doesn’t feel well, and so after a party, she goes home alone. When a boy tries to force himself onto her, she commits a terrible act. Terribly… satisfying, actually.

Then Rowan and Clara are told by their parents that they are a family of abstaining vampires. Their uncle Will (whom they’d never heard of) comes to help out the family.But he’s a practising vampire and not welcome.

Rowan and Clara have to deal with knowing that they are vampires. In a way, this helps Rowan in his (romantic!) pursuit of Eve, Clara’s friend. Clara has to get her blood-thirst under control and the parents need to find a way to keep Clara out of prison. Uncle Will comes to their rescue, but not in the way he was expecting!

The Radleys: What I thought

This book was great! The writing is funny and the story is so real! I mean, it could really happen like that, a very believable story if you can say that about a story with vampires.

The Radleys could be my neighbours. They seem normal people, if a bit pale. I liked it that they lived near York, as I used to live there for several years. I even vaguely remember Bishopthorpe, the village they live in. The only odd thing was, if you live a few miles from York, why go to Thirsk (much, much further away) to go to the cinema (which Rowan and Eve do)?

I loved uncle Will. Well, he was overpowering and scary, as well as a smooth talker. But totally without a conscience – he killed many people during the years. He was a kind of hippy in his camper van.

The mother’s secret from the past was interesting, if a little old hat. The solution to keeping Clara out of prison was a little weak, I thought. I had expected a twist in the plot to solve this.

It was fun to see how relaxed and happy the family was at the end of the story. It shows that your children can live with the fact that they are vampires, as long as you handle it right.

Absolutely delightful book, I read it in just over a day. If you like a book about a normal English family: read it!

Rating: 5/5

I got this book: from a giveaway by Julie at Knitting and Sundries

I read this in: English, the original language

Number of pages: 384

First published: 2010

Genre: paranormal, fantasy, adult fiction

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