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Book Review: The Crossing by Manjeet Mann

 * I am reviewing this book which I was gifted for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. *


Title: The Crossing
Author: Manjeet Mann
Publisher: Penguin 
Source: NetGalley

(Bookshop UKHiveGoodreads | Storygraph)


Book Summary:

The trailblazing new novel from the Carnegie Medal shortlisted author of Run, Rebel.

Praise for Run, Rebel - a Guardian best book of 2020: A tightly crafted series of punchy, often heartbreaking narrative poems . . . Mann's brilliant, coruscating verse novel lays out the anatomy of Amber's revolution, and the tentative first flowerings of hope and change. Guardian

A trailblazing new novel about two teenagers from opposite worlds; The Crossing is a profound story of hope, grief, and the very real tragedies of the refugee crisis.

Natalie's world is falling apart. She's just lost her mum and her brother marches the streets of Dover full of hate and anger. Swimming is her only refuge.

Sammy has fled his home and family in Eritrea for the chance of a new life in Europe. Every step he takes on his journey is a step into an unknown and unwelcoming future.

A twist of fate brings them together and gives them both hope. But is hope enough to mend a broken world?

Book Review:

After reading Run, Rebel a couple of years ago which I really enjoyed, I was excited to read Manjeet Mann's new book and then The Crossing came along. That kind of blew away. When I say that I liked Run Rebel, I thought that it was good but The Crossing hit differently and it was a book that I can't get out of my head. 

I have to admit that I read the book on a whim. I do love a verse novel but as I didn't love Run, Rebel as much as I would have liked I was a bit apprehensive but I shouldn't have been. The Crossing had me from the first opening and I loved both characters voices. 

They are both on two different journeys, but they are both connected in a way that is inventive and it made me really love her writing as a whole. I loved Natalie's storyline with her Mum's death, the growth of her character was really great and I liked to see how it changed. 

This is juxtaposed with Sammy who we also a great character but who goes through it the whole story and book. I think that Manjeet Mann does give an honest portrayal of refugees in the novel and the difficulties that they go through. I think it is a vital story that needs to be heard today and it made me go through it emotionally. 

The ending is just heartbreaking and although I really wanted a happy ending, I knew that this was not the reality for so many people in a similar situation to Sammy. It is choke the wind out of me and it made me feel all the emotions. So I did really love this and it is a really important read that I do want more people to read.

The Verdict:

The Crossing is a verse novel at its best, being equal parts heartbreaking and thought-provoking. It is a must-read.

Have you read The Crossing? If so, what did you think? Do you want to? Let me know in the comments.

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