Carly's Reviews > Being Billy

Being Billy by Phil Earle
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May 13, 11

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Wow – I honestly cannot believe Being Billy is a debut novel. The writing is first class and I was moved from beginning to end. I am officially in love with this book.

Being Billy touches on a subject I haven’t read about much in YA literature – children in a care home. Earle writes with a stark honesty and it’s quite clear he knows his subject matter inside out. Some of the little stories within Being Billy’s pages can only be real life anecdotes and they really help to bring the book alive. The one that springs to my mind now is the story of the hotel biscuits!

I read Being Billy in a single sitting on Christmas Eve while I was waiting for my working day to come to an end. Yes, I had finished my work for the day so was allowed to read, I wasn’t pulling some incognito ninja page turning under the desk, rest assured. Embarrassingly enough I cried not once, not twice but THRICE while reading this book. Luckily none of my work pals noticed, or if they did they were kind enough not to ask why I was huddled behind my desk weeping.

For me the garage scene on Billy’s birthday is the runaway show stealer of the book. Absolutely beautifully written and so emotionally charged, I dare any of you to make it through without a sniffle or two. For me this was the turning point that made Being Billy go from being a great book to one of my favourites. Yup, instant classic right here.

Billy is a complex but loveable character. Years of terrible treatment at the hands of his mother and alcoholic stepfather have forced him to keep his emotions hidden and his guard permanently up. He cares about nothing in life but his nine year old twin siblings, who are clearly his only reason for being. It was lovely to see the way Billy interacted with the twins as we saw a much softer side to his personality. His blossoming friendship with Daisy was great as well and I really warmed to her as a character – she reminded me a little of Caro from the Zelah Green books (which is a good thing).

Phil Earle is definitely one to watch, I’m so impressed that this is his first book and I cannot wait to see what he brings to the table next. So tomorrow morning I strongly suggest you rush off to your nearest bookshop now and spend some of that Christmas cash on Being Billy because it’s an absolutely corker.
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message 1: by H.I. (new) - added it

H.I. Al-Muhairi Awesome review, by the way :D

This sort of book feels more like something my best friend would read (she must enjoy crying) but I'm planning to read this after your review XD


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