15 Days Without a Head
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15 Days Without a Head

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  531 ratings  ·  122 reviews
A compelling US debut about family, forgiveness, and hope

Despite having a depressed alcoholic mother and a little brother who's convinced he's a dog, fifteen year-old Laurence Roach is trying to live a normal life. But when his mom doesn't come home after work one night, Laurence is terrified that child services will find out she's gone and separate him from his brother.

Paperback, 302 pages
Published May 8th 2013 by Flux (first published December 22nd 2011)
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Serendipity Reviews
On finishing this book, the first question that came to mind was - where the hell has Dave Cousins been hiding?

This book is fantastic. I loved it from the first word until the last. In fact this book really took me by surprise, because when I first heard about it, I really wasn't sure it would be one for me. How wrong was I? This book made me feel so comfortable and right at home as soon as I entered the Roach household. The story was refreshing and original and kept me entranced all the way th...more
Elii Vela
Recibí este libro como un "obsequio" de la editorial y me intrigaron un par de cuestiones, además los libros de Nube de Tinta suelen ser muy buenos, con temas profundos y conmovedores (por lo menos los que había leído hasta ahora). Sabiendo eso, no dudé ni un segundo en lanzarme con éste.

Tenemos a Laurence, un chico de 15 años que tiene que lidiar con el alcoholismo de su madre. Sabemos que la adicción que provoca el alcohol consume a las personas, las transforma y con ello, destruye también a q...more
Yazmin Duran
Fue una sorpresa para mí el haber recibido este libro en mi casa, no lo esperaba. Y cuando lo vi en la pila de libros pendientes estaba muy indecisa si leerlo o no. Por lo que he visto, Nube de Tinta se caracteriza por tener libros bastante emotivos y con historias más “reales”, y como en ese momento andaba un poco sensible estaba indecisa si leerlo o esperar a que mejoraran mis emociones, pero la curiosidad me ganó.

Es una historia bastante fuerte, donde nos muestra lo rápido que pueden crecer e...more
The trouble begins when Laurence's mom disappears or runs away. We don't really know why she doesn't come home, and the hours turn into days. Laurence, the older brother, is left to care for his bratty baby brother. He misses school, scrounges for money for food, dodges neighbors, lies and searches for his mother, all while trying to win a vacation through a radio contest. It sure is convenient he has phone cards to use at the booth! Although all the focus is placed on Laurence and his brother's...more
Some books need to be read while you’re eating pickled onion Monster Munch and I think this is just one of those books.

Let me explain.

I find pickled onion Monster Munch e a very underrated crisp. They aren’t the coolest crisps on the shelf. Not everyone thinks of them instantly when they think of a delicious savoury snack. I mean, they don’t have Gary Lineker and Lionel Richie advertising them. They can’t be dipped in…um…dip. Or at least easily. I guess you would really have to want some dip to...more
Jun 05, 2013 Maree rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Maree by: Jo
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that I love a good contemporary novel. In particular I love those gritty contemporaries that British writers seem to have perfected. 15 Days Without a Head is no exception. Seriously, you need to read this book.

This was everything I’ve come to expect from a British contemporary; compelling, challenging and heartbreaking. Although the novel was in-your-face confronting, so much so that I felt overwhelmed with emotion at times, there were...more
Okay, wow. This book is kind of heartbreaking, but beautiful.

Life pretty much sucks for Laurence Roach. His dad died when he was young. His mother is nearly always drunk, with the violent mood swings that goes with. His little brother is both and adorable and unbearably obnoxious at the same time. Their family is strapped for cash and they live in a dump. He is often late for class because he has to take his little brother to school. And that is all before his mother goes missing.

No matter what...more
Starting out this book you'd expect from the title for some horror and gore (and if i'm honest I did but doesn't mean I was disappointed that it wasn't a zombie gore fest, lol). I was sent a review copy of Dave Cousin's book in a way because of Dave himself and the wonder that is Twitter and I'm glad I got one ahead of release so I can yelp about how fab it is beforehand. It's a funny and warm story about a boy and his dog…who happens to be his younger brother but that's beside the point. Lauren...more
Fifteen Days Without a Head by Dave Cousins was a book that my Mom forced me to read to stop me from looking at my computer, and I expected a dull, uninteresting and lame book. I also thought that it would be a book more filled with jokes than a serious subject, but I was proven wrong. Almost instantly after reading the first chapter, I fell in love with it. I read it for four hours straight until the very last word, and it blew me away. The story is told by Laurence Roach, a 15 year old boy who...more
Suzanne Lilly
Dark, gritty, tense, realistic. These are the words I choose to describe this debut novel by Dave Cousins. When a teen's alcoholic mom doesn't come home, he tries to take care of his six year-old brother and keep them together without raising the suspicions of neighbors or Social Services. On top of that, he meets a girl he likes, but with all that he's hiding, doesn't see how he can get to know her better. The challenges this young man faces, and the realistic portrayal of a life in despair, ma...more
I probably would have really liked this book when I was 14. At 45, it was... eh. I've read this story before in other books and there wasn't anything that really stood out for me in this telling of it- kids trying to survive on their own because their parents are gone, or dead, or just not fit to parent. It reminded me of the 1993 movie King of the Hill, only not quite as convincing. I wish they had developed the mother and the girlfriend's characters more. The little brother who thinks he's a d...more
Adriana Márquez
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J Omar Vidrio
Un libro del que no esperaba mucho pero que termino encantandome. Creas bastante empatía con los personajes y disfrutas bastante la historia. El autor sabe poner elementos que nos cautivan. El unico problema con el libro es su final bastante flojo, aun así el libro es bastante bueno.
Diego Salvatore
15 días sin cabeza es una de las novedades del sello Nube de Tinta que por lo normal sus libros son muy buenos, y no me malinterpreten este libro es bueno, me gusto pero siento que le falto algo para que me encantara.

La historia va de Laurence un chico de 15 años que vive con su hermano menor y su madre alcohólica que apenas les da atención, viven precariamente y técnicamente Laurence es el encargado de todo, el problema empieza cuando su madre los abandona sin rastro alguno, dejando a Laurence...more
Zulma Rios
Laurence, vive con su mamá y su hermano Jay, el es un chico de 15 años que no vive como un típico adolescente, debido a que su mamá quien es alcohólica un día desaparece, sin dejar rastro. Así que Laurence intenta a toda costa que nadie se de cuenta que están solos su hermano Jay y él, porque no quiere que los de "servicios sociales" los separen, llevándolos a casas hogar e incluso a otras familias, en un principio todo parece fácil, pero conforme el tiempo avanza, se va a cumulando suciedad, la...more
IzamaRi H. Fabela
Como ya es costumbre, el sello Nube de Tinta nos hace entrega de una historia real, conmovedora y cruel que dejara pensando a más de a uno.

Estoy realmente sorprendida por la fresca narración del autor que me atrapo desde la primera palabra y no me soltó hasta que llegue a la última. Y a pesar de contarnos una historia cruel, es imposible no querer saber más de lo que pasa en la vida de estos dos hermanos.

– ¿Si esta noche tampoco hay comida, vamos a tener que ser caníbales y encontrar a alguien p...more
Andrew Carlson
Considering that I read the book in four sittings, the final 40+% last night, I'd say the book held my attention and interest throughout. The story was funny, then sad, then heartwarming. I could put myself in Laurence Laurence Roach's shoes and relate to his situation--not because it has happened to me, but because the story is well-told. All of that deserves 5 stars from me.

This is definitely a book to read. Bump it up on your TBR list and give it a go.
Angel Roman
Originally posted in angelroman.org

Estoy de vuelta con una reseña en español, y en esta ocasión se trata de un libro bastante singular. Y es que normalmente los libros que son puramente de ficción sin algún elemento de fantasía o sobrenatural no me atraen, pero en cuanto empecé a leer 15 Días Sin Cabeza de Dave Cousins mi percepción empezó a cambiar y para bien.

Cousins describe su trabajo en su biografía de twitter como “realismo adolescente con acción, humor y corazón” y sin duda es una descrip...more
- 3.5 Estrellas -

Tenía bastantes expectativas con este libro, ya que había leído reseñas que lo ponían muy bien y pertenece al sello de Nube de Tinta y si algo caracteriza a este sello son las historias tan realistas y llenas de sentimientos que publican... Pero, desgraciadamente, debo decir que el libro no me pareció la gran maravilla y no me fascino, ni conmovió como esperaba que hiciera, simplemente me entretuvo y me parecio lindo en ocasiones, pero nada mas :/

La historia de Laurence es una...more
Christine Blachford
I hadn't realised this was a children/young adult book until I started reading, which wasn't a problem but it took me a while to adapt to it. I found the story to be overwhelmingly sad, chronicling the difficulties a teen boy has trying to keep a household together after his single parent mother disappears.

Searching for money for food, following the clues of his mum's last known whereabouts, and trying to win a radio competition at the same time, his life is kept very busy! There's something of...more
Ainun Nazrin
Ini salah sebuah buku yang aku tak menyesal beli walaupun murah (99p di Kindle Store).

Aku baru selesai membaca 'The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly' yang mengisahkan Sprout, seekor ayam telur yang berazam untuk menjadi ibu. Akhirnya Sprout berjaya menjadi ibu kepada seekor anak itik. Walaupun Sprout hanyalah 'ibu angkat' sahaja tapi Sprout menjaga anak itu dengan baik dan penuh kasih sayang.
Berbeza dengan Mags Roach dalam novel ini yang hanya tahu melahirkan anak tetapi FAIL menjadi ibu. Sudahlah...more
Some books you read and find entertaining. And some books you read and never forget. This one is one I will have in my mind for a long time.

Read my full review here: http://bit.ly/rLYLqU

Jan 16, 2014 Sue rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
Laurence and his brother, Jay, live with their alcoholic mother in a dingy apartment in England. Laurence constantly tries to make everything work - he wakes up his mother for work, gets food when she forgets, brings his brother to school, etc. When his mother doesn't come home from work he keeps trying to make it all work without anyone knowing she's gone. This book is the heartbreaking story of Laurence during the time his mother is gone.

I really liked this book. These kids are in a bad situat...more
Clara Sambrano
Que bonita historia
I remember feeling this way about a debut novel almost exactly this time last year; really, genuinely excited about the discovery of a huge new talent in the YA world. When I felt this way last year it was about Phil Earle's Being Billy and this around, it's Dave Cousins' 15 Days Without a Head, which is absolute magic.

I devoured this novel over a couple of days, grabbing a few minutes here and there to read whenever I got a chance; on the way home from the event in London where I was given my c...more
Surely a fine book for teenagers – I am looking forward to using it as a class reader. This is fiction for teenagers of a good standard. The story is simple, and straight-forward. However, the quiz element is original. It is unlikely that the common complaint ('not enough action') will be voiced by students.

However, for adult readers some elements may be seen as fairly two-dimensional: Mina (we like Mina!) is good and only good. Phil goes from super meanie to actually-he's-okay in no time at all...more
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Not entirely sure how this one got on my radar but I must have realized that it was a contemporary set in England from the male perspective, all good things to me. So I picked it up and read it quite quickly.

There are a lot of heartbreaking moments contained in these pages but thankfully also moments of hope to balance the darkness. See, Laurence is a fifteen-year-old who is essentially the responsible adult in his family t...more
Sammee (I Want to Read That)
4.5 Stars

I've had the feeling I would really enjoy this one ever since hearing the author read an excerpt at an event last year. It's a fantastic debut - humorous and poignant - I loved every minute.

The story follows Laurence and his brother Jay when their mother doesn't come home from work. Scared that they will be separated again, Laurence does everything in his power to hide his mother's absence from the authorities. But with an incredibly nosey neighbour and money running out will Laurence f...more
Ms. Yingling
Laurence is used to taking care of his young brother, Jay, since his mother is usually drunk and has limited patience generally dealing with life, much less children specifically dealing with children. Laurence can get Jay to the caregivers and school, make sure he is fed, and occasionally goes to his mother's job cleaning offices to do her work, if she is too hungover to get out of bed. But when his mother doesn't come home from work one night, he finds it increasingly hard to take care of Jay....more
A real and gritty debut by Dave Cousins; an author everyone should be on the lookout for this coming year. I'm already excited for his next book and this one isn't even out yet (unless you count the Oxford publication)

Jay is the kind of teenage boy that gets overlooked, he's caring, sweet and so protective of his younger brother...all this is overlooked by his height and the fact that lately he's been late to school or is falling asleep in class.

Tackling the subject of parents with alcohol abuse...more
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Dave Cousins completed his first novel in the back of a van, while touring with his band (who were almost famous!)

He went on to be a winner of the SCBWI Undiscovered Voices Anthology 2010 and his debut novel for teens, 15 Days Without a Head, was published by Oxford University Press in January 2012.

Originally from Birmingham, Dave now lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and family, in a house fu...more
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“A secret is like a bag you have to lug around all the time - each day you add another lie, and it just gets heavier and harder to carry on your own.” 4 likes
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