Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “15 Days Without a Head” as Want to Read:
15 Days Without a Head
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

15 Days Without a Head

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  895 Ratings  ·  157 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Baby by J.K. AccinniDogshit Saved My Life by Karl WigginsThe One by J.K. AccinniEvil Among Us by J.K. AccinniEcho by J.K. Accinni
Eye Catching Titles
74th out of 241 books — 201 voters
Risky Business by Amy AndrewsForever by Judy BlumeThe Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann BrasharesWhat They Always Tell Us by Martin  WilsonForever in Blue by Ann Brashares
Blue Jeans
160th out of 177 books — 20 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,302)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
Yelania Nightwalker
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
May 28, 2013 Charlie rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley, teen-ya
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
Mar 15, 2013 Lindie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Yazmin Duran
May 15, 2014 Yazmin Duran rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
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
Dec 23, 2015 Raquel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tengo una opinión dividida: me parece que el libro es muy bueno pero que la traducción es muy mala. La historia no es "cotorrona", como podría uno pensar a partir de la portada: es una historia dura, complicada y a ratos angustiante, pero al mismo tiempo es divertida y dan ganas de saber quué va a pasar. Quizá si el traductor no se hubiera puesto tan pesado con sus notas al pie... o si no faltara por ahí un párrafo completo... o si no intentaran convencer al lector de que va a leer una cosa simp ...more
15 días sin cabeza fue un libro bastante….peculiar. Pero peculiar rayando en lo raro.
Tenemos a Laurence, un adolescente cuya familia solo se compone por su hermanito Jay y su madre alcohólica. Hasta que un día se encuentra solo con Jay por más días de los normales…y empieza la aventura. Laurence hará todo lo que está en sus manos, incluso más, para salvar a su familia y mantenerla unida…pero no sabe si será suficiente.
15 días sin cabeza es un libro que se lee rápido, es en cierta medida fluido
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
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
Feb 01, 2015 Michelle rated it really liked it
Recommended to Michelle 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
Nov 09, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
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
May 01, 2012 Anthony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 01, 2013 Suzanne Lilly rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-contemporary
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
Brenda Zalegowski
Dec 09, 2015 Brenda Zalegowski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars but I generally round up. An entertaining story but not amazing. I didn't get emotionally invested like I wanted to and I wanted to skim the scenes with the radio contest. Still I liked Laurence's "voice". I would read more by this author.
Jul 27, 2013 Agathafrye rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
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
May 07, 2014 J Omar Vidrio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 29, 2016 Mpintal54 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Did you know that Dave Cousins, the author of this book, wrote this in the back of a tour bus because he is also a musician? The book is called 15 Days Without a Head if you were wondering. I picked this book up from the library just so I could have a book to read. I was pleasantly surprised of how good this book was.

Without giving too much away, the book is about these two boys, Laurence and his younger brother Jay. Their mom is missing and they are trying to find her. One thing I noticed righ
Feb 19, 2015 Buchdoktor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
Der Mutter von Laurence und Jay ist alles zu viel geworden, sie ist verschwunden und hat ihre Kinder allein zurückgelassen. Seit dem Tod ihres Mannes leidet sie an Depressionen und hat begonnen zu trinken. Für die Kinder war die Situation zu Hause am schlimmsten, wenn kein Geld da war und die Mutter keinen Alkohol kaufen konnte. Laurence musste sogar schon morgens vor der Schule auf der Putzstelle der Mutter für sie einspringen, wenn sie nicht aus dem Bett kam. Laurence erzählt in Ichform, wie e ...more
Diego Salvatore
May 23, 2014 Diego Salvatore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Zulma Rios
Apr 21, 2014 Zulma Rios rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
April Duclos
Feb 08, 2016 April Duclos rated it really liked it
I couldn't put it down. Laurence is 15 and living with his drunk, two-job working, depressed mum and his 6 year old brother Jay in a run down walk-up. Roaches in the kitchen, despair all around. Laurence is convinced that if he just manages to win a radio contest vacation that his mum and life in general will turn around. That is, until the day that mum doesn't come back home.

The writing is realistic and the characters real: flawed and honest.
Andrew Carlson
Jun 23, 2013 Andrew Carlson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 09, 2014 Angel Roman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, inspiring
Originally posted in

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
- 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
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
Andy Herondale
3.5 realmente
El tema del libro me entusiasmó desde que leí la sinopsis,estaba entusiasmada al empezar pero después comencé a oír críticas negativas y tenía miedo que eso fuera a bajar mi ánimo al leer.
Para nada fue así,el libro me gustó demasiado,si bien no fue mi favorito pero creo que tiene elementos muy buenos.
Al principio de la historia Jay me desesperaba bastante,pero a la vez comprendía lo que estaba pasando,después de todo era un niño pequeño que necesitaba a su mamá.
Hay partes que me hub
Jul 15, 2015 Jess rated it liked it
3.5 star. A quick read during the weekend. The story was fast paced, and because the chapters were all quite short, it made reading very easy. The story and characters were interesting. The characters all linked together quite well. I had no problem reading at all. However, one thing in this book bugged me a little - throughout the entire story, Laurence and Jay were never once clean. Disgusting stuff happened in all chapters. Vomit, dirty laundry, sweat, mud, the smell of booze and cigarette et ...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
Paula de Santana
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:

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 76 77 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Being Billy
  • This is Not Forgiveness
  • The Seeing
  • Anthem for Jackson Dawes
  • Kill All Enemies
  • Naked
  • Black Heart Blue
  • Almost True (When I Was Joe, #2)
  • India Dark
  • Brown Skin Blue
  • How to Keep a Boy as a Pet (Circe Shaw, #1)
  • Heart-Shaped Bruise
  • Mister Creecher
  • Stones for My Father
  • Chocolate SOS (Jess Jordan, #5)
  • Hidden (Hayling Cycle, #1)
  • A World Between Us
  • Drawing with Light
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 about Dave Cousins...

Share This Book

“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
More quotes…