I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.The Bricks that Built the Houses by Kate Tempest
Published by Bloomsbury USA on May 3, 2016
Genres: British, Contemporary, Literature & Fiction
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It gets into your bones. You don't even realise it, until you're driving through it, watching all the things you've always known and leaving them behind. Young Londoners Becky, Harry and Leon are escaping the city in a fourth-hand Ford Cortina with a suitcase full of stolen money. Taking us back in time - and into the heart of London - The Bricks that Built the Houses explores a cross-section of contemporary urban life with a powerful moral microscope, giving us intimate stories of hidden lives, and showing us that good intentions don't always lead to the right decisions. Leading us into the homes and hearts of ordinary people, their families and their communities, Kate Tempest exposes moments of beauty, disappointment, ambition and failure. Wise but never cynical, driven by empathy and ethics, The Bricks the Built the Houses questions how we live with and love one another.
The Bricks that Built the Houses by Kate Tempest was like reading a classic Guy Ritchie movie. You know it is going to be a fun ride even if you are lost and or confused half of the time. Girl meets girl, girl then starts dating first girl’s brother, drug dealers and a suitcase full of stolen money all combine in this book. With a caper mentality at the heart of it, Houses is an interesting look at how your everyday interactions can lead you to a new reality.
The plot of The Bricks that Built the Houses was very interesting. almost everything that happened was setup as a coincidence and every character you met or location was sure to be factored into the story at a later point. You could tell from the writing of Kate Tempest that she tends towards poetry as a medium. Although lyrical at points it made the read a bit difficult as the non-standard sentence structure was at times too much. The pacing had some issues as certain sections went very fast and other dragged out. It did all come together in the end, but there were some shaky bits. The world built was nebulous; a few locations were mentioned but again the focus was the characters not the locales. Speaking of the characters, the main players were fantastic. I liked their complicated interplay, however there were a few too many side players that just detracted from the story. There was a great emotional arc in the storyline. I really liked the interplay of the different relationships and the feelings building behind them.
I was divided on my rating of this one. It had so many good things going for it, but it had almost an equal amount of detractions. I have mentioned before that there are good three star books and bad three star books and The Bricks that Built the Houses falls squarely in the good category. I enjoyed the tale but didn’t love the style of telling.
Favorite lines – She can see her future: the hype, the push, the rise, the braying bitterness of her peers, the mounting pressure, the slow decline, the inevitable agony of being replaced by someone more malleable, with younger cartilage and better boobs.
Biggest cliché – Oh wow, that is such a crazy coincidence!
Have you read The Bricks that Built the Houses, or added it to your TBR?
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2016 Diverse Books Reading Challenge
- 2016 New Release Challenge
- Mount TBR Reading Challenge
- Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
- The Goodreads Challenge