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3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  1,674 ratings  ·  326 reviews
'Shelley, darling,’Mum said. ‘Don’t be frightened. He just wants money. If we do everything he says, he’s going to go away and leave us alone.’
I didn’t believe her, and I could tell from the trembling of her hands and the catch in her voice that she didn’t believe it herself. When a cat gets into the mousehole, it doesn’t go away leaving the mice unharmed.

I knew how this s
Paperback, 330 pages
Published February 2nd 2012 by Pan Books (first published August 18th 2001)
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sarah montambo is not a mouse.

but shelley and her mother are doormats.

very bright, but by whatever fluke of nature or nurture, passive, timid, and the type to scurry away from any conflict: mice.

shelley is bullied at school. and i mean BULLIED. by her former best friends, turned in late adolescence into a pack of vicious bitches. it goes beyond dog-poop in the bag and hair-pulling, this, and culminates in an act that is so horrific, even cast-iron stomach karen had to take a moment. is it over t
I didn't actually mean to start reading this immediately upon taking it out of the library, as I already had two books on the go; but then I began to read the first page and before I knew it, five chapters had gone by. The story is narrated by fifteen-year-old Shelley, who lives in an isolated country cottage with her mother Elizabeth. In a fast-moving, immediately engrossing start, we learn about their background and how they have come to lead such an isolated existence. They are, as Shelley ex ...more
This was an obvious, unsubtle attempt at a thriller. It is a nasty, poorly constructed and uninspired piece of work. Reece spends almost the whole novel attempting to frustrate the reader with the inadequacy and weakness of his main characters, piling the most unlikely and outrageous ill luck on them. The reader is supposed, of course, to sympathise with these poor sods, but Reece so poorly overplays this mediocre and unoriginal idea that s/he (the reader) simply becomes angry at the sledgehamme ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sue Smith
This book really floored me. It was such a mixture of emotions actually - anger and fear, amazement and horror - they all added up to being really uncomfortable reading it. Gordon Reece really makes you squirm in your seat.

This is a book that shakes a nasty situation in your face and makes you touch it. It's like going by a really bad traffic accident on the highway and not being able to look away, even though you know you're going to regret it later because those images will be burned into you
Jul 16, 2014 Roya rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: okay
Shelley and her mother avoid conflict at all costs and steer clear of anything that could lead to it. They tread softly. Silence and classical music are their favourite sounds. People treat them like doormats, but they don't seem to mind. They're mice - quiet and timid.

After a messy divorce and Shelley being brutally bullied in school, they move to the countryside. Everything is just as they imagined it. Shelley's homeschooled and her mother has a longer commute, but they've finally found their
H.J. Harper
Every so often I'm lucky enough to come across a book that I like to call a 'stop-misser', i.e. when I'm reading it on the tram or the train, I'm so engrossed that I almost miss my stop.

So when I was nose-deep in Mice, wanting (needing) to find out what happened next, and I looked up to see the Latrobe st stop was passing me by, I knew I had a freaking excellent book in my hands.

For some reason when this was first sold to me I had it in my head that the characters were actual mice. Clearly my at
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maree Kimberley
A very ordinary book that celebrates victimhood and justifies violence and psychopathic behaviour with some of the most godawful writing I've come across. Seriously, what 16 yo girl in the middle of a hostage situation would start reflecting on "all the deities of middle class culture"?

The protagonist was a boring prat and so was her insane mother. The constant description of them as 'mice' in the first quarter of the book did nothing to gain my sympathy, and the mother went from a weak, gutless
Mice, as the title implies, refers to those meek and non-confrontational people who hide behind their daily lives letting others take advantage of them. Shelley and her mother are two such people and when an extreme case of bullying at school leads to an ultimate horrible act, Shelley and her mother flee to the countryside to hide and just get away from it all. Life is wonderful for a time, but what happens when the someone decides to not be mouse anymore? A terrifying incident changes mother an ...more
Ian Tymms
I didn't like this book and I don't feel I have a right to be overly critical of a book unless I can put in the time to explain why - so here goes.

This is a YA book and, whilst I'm not of the opinion that YA literature should shield readers from the harsh realities of the world, I do believe that it has a moral responsibility to treat difficult issues with complexity and insight. As the narrator of the novel notes:

"So much of what Mum was was made up of what she'd read. Is that what our middle-c
Keith Chawgo
'Mice' was recommended by a fellow Good Reads friend Karen, who writes some of the best reviews and gives an incredible reflection on what she reads and insightful view on the books that she has read. I strongly urge anyone to add her to your friends list just for the reviews that she writes.

Moving on to the review. 'Mice' is a truly absorbing book that deals with bullying in its many different forms and how two women deal with it and decide that enough is enough.

The story is written from a fi
Shelley is a 16 years old student, lives with her single mum, Elizabeth whose husband left her for a younger woman. Shelley said she inherited her mum’s personality; timid, placid and will shy’s away from any confrontation. She describes herself as being a mouse.

In Shelley’s senior years at school, she was a victim of a severe case of bullying, inflicted on her by her former friends. Shelley kept all this hidden from her mum for years, not wanting to add any additional worry to her due to her m
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I didn't dislike this book, I HATED it. It sucked me in and had me completely connected to the characters and then took such a twist that I was physically ill at the thought of finishing the book.

An argument could be made that something that I react so violently to is worth more than one star, but I wish I could give it less.
Vicky (Books, Biscuits, and Tea)
My original review was posted at

Having received a review copy of this book, I was really excited about picking it up and reading it because it sounded really promising. As those of you who follow my reviews might know, I absolutely love murder mysteries - I have some kind of an obsession with crime fiction, in fact. Even though Mice is actually a thriller - a genre I haven't actually read before - it was right up my street. It's one of those books that yo
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
I finally feel as though I can stop holding my breath now that I've finished reading Gordon Reece's debut novel, Mice. It was the title that made this appeal to me at first as it seemed quite strange, especially teamed with the cover photograph. I just had to see what this was all about. Now I'm not usually excited by the thought of crime or thriller based books, but this one had me gripped! This is a novel that will appeal to older teenagers and adults alike.

There are two main characters in thi
3.5 stars

It seems weird for me to describe "Mice" as a disappointment when I'm giving it such a high rating and there was so much about it I liked.

But this is because, in the beginning, I really thought "Mice" was going to be a five-star read. There was so much about it to love and Gordon Reece's writing was fantastic - literary but not pretentious, complex but not convoluted, detailed and vivid. Reece really captures the realistic, not over-the-top awfulness of Shelley and her mother's world.
this is the second time in a week that a book has made me scared to sleep. i'm literally afraid to turn off my lamp now. review to come.

4 and a half stars

Mice. You were one of the creepiest books I've ever read. I will say that I probably haven't read that many creepy books in my life. (Actually, I just went on Goodreads listopia and looked up "disturbing", and on the list titled "the most disturbing book ever written", I read 49 out of 100. Mice was not in the top 100.)

This is one of th
I didn't buy the basic plot of this book: that teenager Shelley and her mother, spineless doormats, commit a criminal act and then try to hide it. Reece describes them as "mice" over and over again (really, every other goddamn page), but it just doesn't ring true.

Mother mouse is supposedly a former top lawyer, who left her job at her husband's request and then got screwed when he left her for a thirty year younger woman. Now, I know a lot of lawyers and there is no way you get to be a high-powe
Jan 06, 2012 Barbara rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
★ Jess
Pre-reading thoughts: Picked this up at a Borders closing down sale for $11...It sounds interesting & has some good reviews. Definitely excited to read this at some stage.

After finishing thoughts:
I spent ages trying to figure out if this book deserved three or four stars. It was a slow at the beginning, but the ending was full of suspense.
It was a pretty basic plot: at some parts I didn't care what was happening, at others I was literally screaming at the characters, telling them what to
I think this was a really good book due to the engaging plot and the way Gordan Reece showed Shelley's character and how it relates to the idea of Mice! The story is written in such a sophisticated way that made me want to continue reading the book! I wasn't familiar with Gordan Reece's style of writing but after reading this book, I feel like reading some of his other books!
I am really going to make more of an effort to write these reviews, because at the moment all the books I'm reading are very good! I loved this book and read it in only one day, my fastest ever read!!! It was so interesting and exciting, I really liked it. The fact that the story could have happened to anyone fascinated me most, the fact that I was just as relieved when the police never showed up made me realise how well written this book was. I loved the last line: '''No' I purred'', the consta ...more
Wow, what a book. I flew through it in just one sitting. The intense post and very interesting characters kept me going and provide just enough mystery and thrill for me to read yet another page, yet another chapter. The start was a little slow but it did nothing but pick up from there. From Teresa to Roger, every character was fleshed out and had a important role to play. Even though the book itself as good, murder mystery type books are not for me (as I have just discovered) and didn't impress ...more
Written by Gordon Reece, Mice is an electrifying psychological taut thriller exploring the lives of Shelly and her mother, Elizabeth. The duo retreat to a peaceful life in the countryside to escape their physical and mental scars from their previous lives of intense torment and bullying. When an unwelcome guest disturbs their peace, something inside Shelly snaps and what happens from then on shatters all assumptions as to what the two are truly capable of. If you are like me and love a true jam- ...more
COMFORT: I chose to read this book because it was recommended to me as a psychological thriller book, which I love. I loved that it was gripping, but other than that I was frustrated with this book because a lot of things aren't believable to me. Such as, if the mother in the book is really a timid, obedient and submissive 'mouse', then how could she have been such a powerful and successful lawyer? And the main character in the book, Shelley, faces years of relentless bullying that is shockingly ...more
I really enjoyed this book (audio version). The author's writing style was refreshing although I have to admit, I found myself doubting time and time again that a fifteen year old girl (Shelley) would "think" the way the author wrote her. Also, Shelley suffered torturous bullying but it wasn't until she found a dead bird stuffed inside one of her gym shoes that she realized the mean girls went over the top—really? There were a few other things that didn't make sense to the story but all in all, ...more
Yvann S
"Is that what our middle-class culture created? People formed more by the books they'd read than the lives they'd lived?"

Shelley and her mother have finally escaped from their persecutors - Shelley from school bullies who used to be her closest friends and Elizabeth from her domineering husband. They've found a new start in a beautiful cottage in the countryside and are getting on with their lives. When a burglar enters their house on the eve of Shelley's sixteenth birthday, the cowering women f
Sam Woodfield
I reviewed this book for a UK book shop and loved it!! I can't remember the last time I put my entire life on hold in order to finish a book as I did with this novel - for the last 2 days it has taken over my life and drawn me in!

I dont think the premise of this novel is anything new, but Reece's narrative, and construction of the characters means that you are absorbed into the tale hook, line and sinker.

In many novels, if the characters carried out the actions that Shelley and her mother perfor
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Gordon Reece is a writer/illustrator based in North East Victoria, Australia. Born in the UK in 1963 he studied English literature at Keble College, Oxford, and was a teacher and briefly a personal injury
lawyer before dedicating himself full-time to writing and illustrating in 1999.

Gordon has had 15 books for children and young adults published in Australia and Spain where he lived for six years.
More about Gordon Reece...
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“And all this culture, all this art, was simply a trick. It allowed us to pretend that human beings were noble, intelligent creatures who'd left their animal past behind them long ago and had evolved into something finer, something purer; that because they could write like angels they were angels. But this art was just a screen that hid the ugly truth -- that we were still the same creatures who had cut into the warm bellies of the animals we'd killed with sharpened stones and vented our anger on the weak with frenzied blows of a blunt club.” 4 likes
“Death and horror are always near us. The challenge is to get on with our lives and be happy when we can always see them out of the corner of our eye, blurred, but still recognisable in the background.” 3 likes
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