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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Lost in Static by Christina Philippou

About Lost in Static (taken from Amazon)

Sometimes growing up is seeing someone else's side of the story. Four stories. One truth. Whom do you believe?

Callum has a family secret. Yasmine wants to know it. Juliette thinks nobody knows hers. All Ruby wants is to reinvent herself.

They are brought together by circumstance, torn apart by misunderstanding. As new relationships are forged and confidences are broken, each person's version of events is coloured by their background, beliefs and prejudices. And so the ingredients are in place for a year shaped by lust, betrayal, and violence...

Lost in Static is the gripping debut from author Christina Philippou. Whom will you trust?
My review of Lost in Static
Lost in Static is a novel that is told from four different points of view. We read narratives by Ruby, Callum, Yasmine and Juliette. All of whom are freshers at University and live together in a halls of residence. To be able to write a story from four differing and unique viewpoints is no mean feat for any author and, to then create such distinctive voices and to make the novel continuously flow is also incredibly difficult to pull off. However, this author manages to create a flowing narrative told by four distinctive voices with ease.
The beginning of the book starts with an accident, and it is only by reading each story, over the course of the book, that we finally find out the terrible truth of what happened that fateful day. I have to say that I was gripped until the very end. But what really intrigued me was the way in which these four characters told their version of events, one story, but each completely different. This is the real joy of this book.
Now, did I like the characters? Sadly not. I didn't like any of them really. They were all manipulative and selfish. The only character that I felt a smidgen of empathy towards was Ruby, as I found that I connected most with her, she seemed the most real, although her use of the word 'mate' continually during her inner dialogue did at times distract me from what she had to tell me. However, even though I did not like any of them, I loved this book, and I don't think that has ever happened before. I usually have to identify with the characters, fall in love with them even for me to truly love the story, but I loved the story without loving any of them. This I know is strange, but that is how good the story telling is. You become immersed in their worlds, why they act the way in which they do and, you NEED to find out WHY they did what they did and what the eventual outcome will be.
I also have to admit that reading about student life and in particular life in the halls of residence, brought back memories as life as a student. Although I never had the use of a laptop or mobile phone at the time (this was in the early 90's), I did identify with that nerve-wracking feeling of knowing absolutely no other person and feeling all alone in the world. I also missed my now husband, who was at a different University. One of the beginning scenes in particular, where everyone is introduced to one another in the kitchen, really hit home. That gut wrenching feeling that nobody will like you and that you will have to spend the rest of the year thrown together in awkward silence.
I found this book to be dark and quite frankly an uncomfortable read, yet I really enjoyed it. I very much look forward to reading more by Christina Philippou. This is a stunning debut novel.
With thanks to NetGalley and Urbane Publications for a review copy in exchange for an honest review
Lost in Static was published on 15 Sept. 2016 by Urbane Publications and can be found on Amazon here.

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