Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “An Act of Love” as Want to Read:
An Act of Love
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

An Act of Love

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  183 ratings  ·  30 reviews

Seven-year-old Chris and Imran are sworn blood brothers.

Ten years on they are treading seperate paths. The spectre of terrorism has wrecked their friendship. It has changed their lives and could even end them.

A story of two ordinary boys growing up in an extraordinary time - our time. A time of terror, when atrocities don't happen in the TV repor
Paperback, 292 pages
Published 2011 by London : Orion Children's
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about An Act of Love, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about An Act of Love

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jul 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

“Imran dabbed at is nose. ‘Hey, look at that. We still bleed the same colour.’ He cleared his throat. ‘This proves we are blood brothers’. He offered his hand and pulled me to my feet.”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
Perfect ending for a beautiful book.

High Points.
Honest portrayal of the situation. Unflinching. Neutral. Impossible questions. Impossible truths. Growing up. The past. The present. The future. Change. Hope. Beliefs. Family. Friendship. Love.

Low Points.
I would have liked more
Diane Ferbrache
Chris and Imran have been friends since they were 7 years old. They were inseparable until September 11 changed everything. In the midst of growing racial tension and increasing terrorist activity in London, Chris joins the Army and Imran gets involved with a radical Iman. Can they find their way back to the friendship?
First published in England in 2011, this is a side of the story that few Americans see – the effect of American politics and military action on the citizens of other countries.
Leanne Loakes
Apr 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was hooked from the first page... This novel is very intense and gripping. It was also an eye opener as we are dealing with political issues as relevant today as there are in this novel... Highly recommended
Kamalia Ramlan
4.5 bintang. Aku suka cerita dengan gaya bahasa yang mudah tapi temanya serius macam buku ni. rasa puas hati.
George Doumat
Oct 12, 2014 rated it liked it
This book has a clear message between its lines and I think it was delivered clearly. And the themes discussed are noteworthy
Serendipity Reviews
May 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book looks at the lives of two children from two different religions, Chris and Imran, who begin their childhood as sworn blood brothers. The story follows them through the next ten years where worldwide events begin to affect their friendship,driving a wedge between them and sending them on very different pathways. Chris joins the army, whilst Imran becomes involved with radicalists that want to stop the war their own way.

I was surprised how much I loved the book. I did worry when I saw th
Jules (Never enough time to read)
May 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, contemporary


‘An act of love’ surprised me in quite a few different ways, mostly because I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. I have to admit that this isn’t the type of book that I usually read, I tend to avoid most fiction to do with war, politics, racism and real contemporary violence, which were among some of the difficult subjects that this book deals with. But having said that this book is far from a difficult book to read, in fact when I started it I ju
Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)
An Act of Love by Alan Gibbons is an amazing book. I was blown away by the emotion that has been poured into the events that have changed and transformed our two main characters.

It was really an eye-opening experience for me as, embarassingly, I have not always been that aware of the goings-on in respect to the war on terror in Afghanistan or of the events that went on here in the UK, such as the race riots. I think what is very important and so wonderful about An Act of Love is that it makes ev
Beth Kemp
Sep 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
This novel deals with important contemporary issues of identity, terrorism and the radicalisation of teens by means of good honest storytelling. Yes, I appreciated the insight I gained into how kids can be driven into some difficult-to-understand paths, but this is achieved by stealth: what gripped me and pulled me along was the story of a friendship. I simply had to know what would happen between the two boys.

The narration adds a further layer of interest and drama. The novel begins close to th
May 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This review was originally posted on

They start out as childhood friends- at aged 7 they are inseperable. They do everything together- swimming, football, exploring The Wilderness; the empty area of land behind the estate. But slowly, everything starts to fall apart. Chris moves away and makes new friends, Imran doesn’t. Chris gets a job, Imran doesn’t. Chris becomes a soldier, goes out to Afghanistan, and Imran slowly hates him for it. Imran is being radicalised by fellow Mu
Pamela Todd
Jun 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011, ya-mg
From the very first page, An Act of Love is intense and gripping.

Chris and Imran grew up next door to each other. The best memories of their childhood are the ones with them both. They saw each other through difficult times, through bullies and prejudice and life and death situations. There is a difference between the boys that they don't see but is noticed by everyone. Chris is white, Imran is not. Chris grows up to be a soldier for the British army, Imran grows up to be groomed by a Muslim ter
L.H. Johnson
May 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Alan Gibbons is better known for writing about demons and horror in his Hell's Underground series for young adults. Here he turns his attention to the contemporary horrors of war, terrorism and racism. Chris and Imran have been best friends since they were little but, as they grow up, terrorism and racism cause a fracture in their relationship, a split which could prove fatal. Chris finds himself stumbling into a career in the army, hurled into the midst of war in Afghanistan at the tender age o ...more
Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow. What a book! It tackles a pretty big and tricky topic, and it does it so well. I paused a few times to marvel at how well balanced it was, you get to see both Chris and Imran’s sides of the story. The book’s written in such a way that you feel like you have an understanding of why they, Imran in particular, make the decisions that they do but whilst it tries to explain things it never tries to justify them.

Structurally this book’s quite complex, there’s the storyline of what’s happening the
May 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: war, young-adult
At seven-years-old Chris and Imran are best friends. The story follows them as they grow up and apart from each other. As children they had so much in common but they end up with dramatically different lives.

The book deals with the difficult issue of terrorism which is dealt with in an accessible way by viewing historical moments such as the Bradford Riots, 9/11 and the 7/7 bombings through the eyes of two young boys who at first don't understand the importance of what is happening around them b
Read InAGarden
Jun 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
An Act of Love is a novel that spans 10 years in the lives of Chris (a white British boy) and Imran (a Muslim British boy). At first they are best friends but as they grow older they begin to see the events of the world through different eyes. Chris eventually decides to become a soldier and fight in the war to end Muslim extremism and Imran is heavily influenced by Muslim radicals on British soil. Interspersed throughout the years are modern day scenes which let the reader know that a current d ...more
Verity (The Cosy Reading Nest)
Jun 08, 2012 rated it did not like it
I was optimistic about this book when I picked it up, as I felt that it could provide a much needed message to children regarding prejudice and racism.
Sadly, I felt that this book only managed to convey tired cliches surrounding 9/11 and the British reaction to Muslims.
I would not recommend this book for children, as I feel it still managed to portray the Muslim faith in a very negative light, and that it contained far too much political information that children don't need to know and wouldn't
Linda Guest
Sep 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Definitely only suitable for older teens as the subject matter concerning terrorism and the differences shown between Christian and Muslim British young people is at times a little worrying. The story is set during the race riots in England that were fuelled by the Americans going into Afghanistan. The two friends; Chris and Imran start to hold conflicting views of the world coloured by the beliefs of thier family and social groups.

I felt that the book dealt with a sensitive subject well but I w
Edwin Smith
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
An Act of Love by Alan Gibbons was an enjoyable and hard to put down book. It was an emotional story about two neighbourhood friends, Chris and Imran, from two different religious backgrounds. This book describes the different paths of two boys who grew up together, becoming almost enemies. An Act of Love describes the war in Afghanistan and its strong effects on both Chris and Imran. This was a stirring and exciting book with something always going on.Overall, this book was incredibly insightfu ...more
Sue Hampton
May 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a brave book and I applaud the author's courage. I also admire his skill as a storyteller with a plot that feels organic, growing inevitably from the characters and the times, rather than constructed. Its subject is terrorism, explored through friendship - or vice versa. Powerful, chilling and wise - and, in these reactive times where 'our' soldiers are apparently angels and Mosques are under attack, necessary.
Kate Hodson
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I began this thinking here would be another issue based teen novel that tried to educate me through a rather dubious story. I have to say that this book is much better than that. I felt that though it did deal with some heavyweight topics, it made characters real on both sides. An interesting and enjoyable book which makes you reconsider what you thought you knew and view a situation from an alternative perspective.
Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jayne Davidson
Nov 08, 2011 rated it did not like it
Although the concept of the book was well intentioned I found the dual narrative plus the extra shorter narratives added rather stilted. It didnt flow for me at all and I thought some characters lacked depth. It felt unpolished and I was rather disappointed at the end
Nov 24, 2015 rated it liked it
this is about war
Jo Harrison
Jun 11, 2011 marked it as to-read
Shelves: to-review
I have a proof copy to review for Waterstone's... didn't realise it was a children's book!
Aman Jassal
Oct 22, 2014 rated it liked it
A refreshing read. Loved it.
Zainab Sheriff

Please read it for yourself
Andrew Sutherland
Sep 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Great book. I can still remember the story. This is a beautiful story about a soldier and his life. Gibbons grasped my attention immediately.
Gareth Oakley
rated it liked it
Feb 19, 2015
rated it it was ok
Oct 07, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Saving Daisy
  • Long Reach (Eddie Savage, #1)
  • Prisoner of the Inquisition
  • This is Not Forgiveness
  • Naked
  • Waiting For Gonzo
  • Kill All Enemies
  • Wasted
  • The Double Edged Sword
  • Another Life (When I Was Joe, #3)
  • Hidden (Hayling Cycle, #1)
  • Emma Hearts LA (Hearts Series, #2)
  • Jasmine Skies
  • Inside My Head
  • Mortlock
  • Soul Beach
  • Everybody Jam
  • Secrets, Lies and Locker 62
Alan Gibbons is an author of children's books and a Blue Peter Book Award. He currently lives in Liverpool, England, where he used to teach in a primary school. His father was a farm laborer, but was hurt in an accident when Alan was eight years old. The family had to move to Crewe, Cheshire where Alan experienced bullying for the first time. He began to write for his pupils as a teacher, but neve ...more
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »