Looking at the wobbling tower of books that is my ‘to be read pile’, it’s true to say that I definitely don’t need any new books. But, and isn’t there always a but with a certified book addict, there was something about The Middler by debut author Kirsty Applebaum that just couldn’t be ignored. From it’s intriguing title and mysterious cover to the great reviews and all the love it’s receiving on-line, I couldn’t resist checking it out on The Nosy Crow website. Just six lines in (the prologue) and immediately I knew that this was not only a book I had to have but I needed to read immediately.
The Middler is fast paced, thrilling story of forbidden friendship, loyalty and betrayal. The narrator, eleven-year-old Maggie, lives in a town protected from the outside world where a Quiet War rages and a band of dirty, deceitful wanderers roam. Maggie lives in the shadow of her two brothers. Jed, the eldest, is destined to be the hero. Trig, the youngest, is loved by everyone. Maggie is frustrated that as the middle child, no matter how hard her efforts, she might as well be invisible. Then one day she meets Una, a staving wanderer girl who needs Maggie’s help. Despite her prejudices, Maggie is drawn to Una – but can friendship come before family or Maggie’s desire to be noticed?
The Middler by Kirsty Applebaum isn’t just any old dystopian novel. It’s a ‘can’t turn the pages fast enough’ dystopian that kept me reading late into the night and left me desperate for Applebaum’s next offering.
The Middler by Kirsty Applebaum is available now from all good book shops and published by Nosy Crow.