The minute I began reading Illegal I felt right at home. It was as if I had been waiting for it.
The title makes me a little uneasy. It feels so, well, Illegal. But other than that, it is a great story. I was going to say, maybe even better than Hidden, which was Miriam’s first book in the series. But that’s time for you. I think they are both equally exciting and also equally necessary. Where Hidden was about illegal (as well as legal) immigrants, Illegal is about doing things which are against the law.
Here we see more of Lindy, who was the ‘bad girl’ in Hidden, and we find that she’s not bad at all. She’s got a tough life, which makes everything seem worse. Lindy’s toddler sister has died, two of her brothers are in jail, and her unemployed parents do nothing all day, leaving Lindy and her little brother Sean to fend for themselves.
When her cousin Colin offers her good money for some ‘gardening’ work, she jumps at it. Except it’s his way of tying her into his drug dealing business, and when she realises this, it’s too late to get out.
Or would have been, had she not met mute boy, Karl, who goes to her school. Together they work on sorting things out.
This is an exciting story, which also shows teenagers like Lindy that there is always hope. Just because you are perceived as bad, doesn’t mean you are. It’s important that young people can read about how there is a way out, and that you can find friends in the most unexpected places. In the end, there was less help from Hamlet and St John Ambulance than I had come to expect, but Lindy grows from experiencing what she can do for herself, and for her family.
It was a little broken, but not forever.
I’m looking forward to Miriam’s next book.