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3.69  ·  Rating details ·  734 ratings  ·  124 reviews
Not cool enough, not clever enough, not street enough for anyone to notice me. I was the kid people looked straight through.


Sixteen-year-old Marlon has made his mum a promise - he'll never follow his big brother, Andre, down the wrong path. So far, it's been easy, but when a date ends in tragedy, Marlon finds himself hunted. They're after
Kindle Edition, 448 pages
Published June 2nd 2016 by Hodder Children's Books
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3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  734 ratings  ·  124 reviews

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Cora Tea Party Princess
Jul 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
5 Words: Family, death, friendship, gangs, drugs.

At the start of this book, I thought that Marlon was great. He really had his head screwed on right, he was a smart kid, a kid I could believe in... But by the end? Not so much. (This is a good thing).

Marlon's attitude, and my attitude towards him, really changed as the story progressed. And it was great. I loved slowly falling out of love with the character, I loved how he transformed from one person into another without losing what made him HIM.
Why was this book so unnecessarily long?! 2.5
Jim From YAYeahYeah
Stunning contemporary telling the story of Marlon, caught up in danger when a date ends tragically. He's an incredible main character and my heart went out to him and his mother, already heartbroken by an accident his brother was involved in several years previously. The way Marlon gets drawn into the world Andre had occupied is brilliantly paced - although it's a tough read as it's so clearly leading to bad things. A really outstanding debut!
Kathryn Evans
May 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A powerful, chunky, honest read - a fantastic first book from Patrice Lawrence. Also- look at that cover! It's awesome!
Beth Bonini
2.5 stars. I don't know how to evaluate this book fairly. It had its strong points, and it covers subject matter which is probably of interest to many teens, but I didn't enjoy reading it at all. I had to drag myself through it, and even the suspenseful elements didn't drive me through the plot. Also, it felt overlong - and the narrative jumped and 'jived' (lots of street lingo) in a way that meant I couldn't just skim it. Having said all that: it was the YA Book Prize winner for 2017, and I res ...more
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2017
I do not know where to start with my love for this book. I can't really write a coherent review, as this book is so far out of my wheelhouse - but it was incredible. Everyone raves about this book, and it really was truly amazing. This book moves at such an incredible pace that the 450 pages fly by, the plot never lags and the things Marlon did to help his family was both admirable, and pretty stupid. The thing is - until you're confronted with something, it's hard to know how you'd react and I ...more
Orangeboy has become a book that I’ve found complex to review. Foremost I want to say this: ‘Orangeboy is gripping, intriguing and emotional. It’s an excellent mystery, with drama and a wonderful set of relationships for the reader to explore, both friendships and the family dynamics. Just go and read it now!’

Honestly I’d be quite happy do go and push this book at so many people with the above (and I’m still mad at myself for taking so long to read Orangeboy). Especially because I adore the two
Kate (Reading Through Infinity)
This book is so important. Not only is it full of diverse characters, but it explores a life of gang violence that many young people in London fall into and find it incredibly hard to escape. and I've never read anything like it.

The story follows, Marlon, a young man whose brother was involved in street gangs until an accident several years ago changed everything. Marlon promised his mum he'd stay in school and avoid his brother's old life, but when old feuds reemerge and his family and friends
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. A really different book, but there was great action and emotion throughout. Hmm.
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic. Genuinely edge of the seat stuff, I absolutely sped through this.
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marlon Sunday is one of the most infuriating young men I have ever encountered, but so superbly written that I fully understand why he decides to follow the course of action that he eventually takes.

I read Orangeboy through screams at the book of “WHY….NO….DON’T DO THAT MARLON…THERE IS ANOTHER WAY”, and the last few chapters I read almost without breathing, trying to simultaneously hide behind my hands and read to the end as fast as I could to find out what happens to Marlon and his family.

DNF at 65%

Edit 9.9.17 Can't believe I forgot to point out some shitty off hand comments made in this book. Early on, Tish tells Marlon not to listen to any 'wrist slitty' music which is just a stupid way to define anything and irritated me. Not long after that, Marlon's journey to school is delayed because somebody killed themselves by jumping in front of a tube train.. the explanation given is that they must not have liked Mondays. I find this very offensive- it just ignores (at best) menta
Tara Russell
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This is a long, dense and really very intense book, where 16-year-old Marlon is pulled between the world of his older brother, Andre, and gang life, and the promises he's made to his mother, Jenny, to avoid the gang world. As is often the case in life, though, it's not easy to follow one path, and when beautiful Sonya enters Marlon's orbit by knocking on his door, all hell breaks loose, pretty much.

I love a book that avoids the simplistic resolution, a book that portrays characters and the
Jayne Bauling
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Orangeboy opens with sixteen-year-old Marlon Sunday from Hackney having just taken his first ever quarter tab of Ecstasy. He doesn’t know it, but he’s already in trouble, about to be plunged into a nightmare of persecution and violence.
This is an all-action, fast-paced YA urban thriller, but it’s also an intensely emotional story. It offers a look at how living with fear is the lot of those who willingly or inadvertently tangle with the bad guys, or ‘badmen’ as Marlon calls them. Additionally, i
Graine Milner
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pacy read, all the way to the end. You can't help but like Marlon, a good boy in a bad situation. I hadn't read the blurb when I started reading this, and didn't know much about it other than it was getting a lot of attention, so the events of the first chapter came as a bit of a shock.
Readers who enjoyed William Sutcliffe's Concentr8 will probably like this too.
Debbie at Snuggling on the Sofa
DNF at 382 pages. So so close to the end and yet... i put it down. I've heard so many people rave about this but it just didn't click for me so I'm throwing in the towel!
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
Fantastic novel, highly recommended
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A gripping read about a teenager dragged into London black gang violence as a result of past misdemeanours by his damaged older brother.
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first 300 pages are fantastic. The climax is muddy and difficult to follow and that kinda ruined it for me.
Lucinda Tomlinson
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story about family, friends, and that sometimes you do the wrong thing for the right reasons.

I read Orangeboy for #SundayYA and it is so, so far away from my usual reading tastes, but it is incredibly well-written, and the pages flew by. When Marlon Sunday unwittingly becomes involved in the life (and death) of the beautiful Sonya, a mixture of good intentions and bad luck steers him into the world of drugs and violence that his Mum has worked so hard to keep him out of.

This area of contempor
Katrina Southern
I'd really been anticipating this read for a number of reasons, partly because of my sheer determination to read more diverse, #ownvoices reads, and partly because I'm enjoying Contemporary YA a lot more as of late and I'd been hoping to get into thrillers and other genres I normally forgo. And for the most part this was actually a great read for a variety of reasons, which tackles a lot of issues and is written well. Lawrence did a great job at creating a fast-paced story full of action and int ...more
May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Orangeboy’s synopsis immediately caught my eye. I don’t read a lot of books like Orangeboy, but there was certainly something about it that drew me to the book. I’m so pleased that I requested this book as I thought it was a brilliant, gripping YA read. It captured my attention and had me whizzng through the story, eager to find out what was going to happen!

Orangeboy opens with Marlon on a date with a girl called Sonya. Sonya and Marlon have had a quarter of a pill each. The date ends in tragedy
Well written with a fast moving and exciting plot. Marlon is a sympathetic character who makes bad decisions for good (to him) reasons. It is not an easy read; the situations described are painful to read about and the knowledge that what is fiction for me is reality for all too many young people was hard. This book, I hope, will open a window of understanding into the underlying reasons many young people are drawn into drugs, gangs, and knife crime. I did find it tough going by the end and it g ...more
Apr 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely incredible book that had my heart pounding in fear and my hands clenched in the desperate hope that Milo would be okay.
Virginie (chouettblog)
Not a bad YA Thriller.
Really fast paced and I loved the pop culture references, "The Matrix" being my fave.

Full review up soon.
Rumi Vd
Bought for the gorgeous cover, but also a pretty good YA book about gangs, family and mistakes of past.
Jan 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017

I really wanted to like this book, not only because it has a POC as the main character but also because it deals rather honestly and open with drugs and how they are handled and what they can lead to. It talks about family, both in positive and negative light, tragedy not only with the death right at the beginning of the book, but also with other stuff that happened to Marlon and his family. I also liked how honest and realistic the book showcases how police handles family members of known "bad
Alyce Hunt
'I laughed. "How many brain surgeons do you know from Hackney?"
She poked my back. "There may be some. Or you could be the first. You could really do that, Marlon."

When Sonya, the gorgeous new girl, asks Marlon on a date, he can't believe his luck. After all of the trouble with his brother Andre, Marlon's been keeping his head down and focusing on his studies: he's not one of the tough kids leading the school. But it's paid off, and now he has a girl like Sonya on his arm.
They visit the local fu
L.H. Johnson
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, gritty
Orangeboy is one of those books which begin a long time before you read it. Take a moment and look at that front cover, that stark brilliant splash of vibrant colour that spills against the white background. It is an amazing piece of design and, as I have said before, design speaks a lot about a book. From the perfectly pitched cover of Trouble through to pretty much anything published by Nosy Crow, design matters. It speaks of ambition and it speaks of power, of doing anything in your arsenal t ...more
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Patrice Lawrence is a British writer and journalist, who has published fiction both for adults and children. Her writing has won awards including the Waterstones Children's Book Prize for Older Children and The Bookseller YA Book Prize.
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