She tricks you a bit, that Keren David. You think her book is going in the humorous, light and fluffy direction. And then it doesn’t. I knew after When I Was Joe and Almost True, that it ought to be the real deal, but Another Life has Archie as its main narrator and it’s easy to believe we’ve left the London crime gangs behind. That his cousin Ty’s problems are over.
They’re not, and we haven’t. And funny little Archie goes into gangland London and…
So on the one hand we have the spoilt and devious Archie who is working on how to get expelled from yet another school, and who fancies so many girls all at once that we know he’s not serious. And on the other hand there is Ty/Joe/Luke, still on witness protection, and about to stand trial for what he did.
Ty is angry, and refuses to speak to people. He’s a lot less loveable in this book. He was misguidedly stupid before, but he had charm. Archie wants to help his cousin, and feels that taking up boxing at Ty’s old club would be a good start.
Another Life is another fantastic read, and Keren would have let her fans down if this book had been the pleasant tying up of loose ends, where Archie and Ty would be best friends forever, each with a girlfriend, and their families would be able to breathe again.
All the way until the end she throws new problems at the boys, and it’s nothing like young James Bond or Alex Rider. I’m not surprised that Keren can reel in the boy readers.