This is the 2nd book I have read and loved by Polly Ho-Yen and now I know for certain I need to get my hands on a copy of Boy in the Tower. This story is incredibly apt, spooky and felt very real in so many places! Billy lives with his mum Sylvia and they constantly practice survival skills and learn vital tips to keep safe and alive in dire circumstances. Billy notices that his mum is becoming very obsessive about it all and is disappearing through the night preparing a safe house. When a fire breaks out in their home, Billy is saved but needs to live with his Dad while his mum gets some much needed help. The relationship between Billy and his Dad is fraught and uncertain but they must learn to trust and love.
When the unimaginable happens, Billy, his Dad and Dad’s girlfriend and daughter, must run to stay alive and safe. The Greys are infected and looking to infect more and more people. Using his mum’s survival tips and tricks, Billy is the key to their success, if only his Dad would acknowledge it.
This story is about family and learning to trust new friends you meet along the way. Billy has been taught to trust no one but over time, he knows this is wrong and he must make the bold decision while on the run. Messages of being nonjudgmental and accepting also feature throughout this story. Billy, Anwar, Angharad, and their parents will go through a terrifying experience and it seems as though there is no happy ending in sight.
Read this with the light on and be prepared to have your heart pounding throughout this incredible adventure! If I am ever lost in the woods, I think I could put some of Billy’s tips and tricks to good use! Resonating with the world as we continue to be plagued by a global pandemic, there are some vital life lessons to take from reading this book.
I feel this is one that will stay with me long after I pass it to others and I will continue to recommend it widely!