My book review of 'Daylight Saving' by Edward Hogan

Daylight Saving

by Edward Hogan
Recommended age: 12+
Daylight Saving
by Edward Hogan

Daniel isn't relishing time alone with his Dad at the Leisure World Holiday Complex. He's unpopular at school, overweight, and missing his mum who has left home to start another relationship. But Daniel is intrigued by a mysterious girl he sees in the grounds of the complex; a girl no one else seems to notice. He comes to befriend her, and is puzzled to find that her watch goes backwards and she has wounds which get worse each day.

To say anything more about the storyline would spoil it, and it has a satisfying twist. It's an enjoyable read but, in the style of young adult literature, doesn't rely on just telling a good story: there has to be some resolution for the father who drinks to drown his sorrows and the teenager who has to accept that life moves on and divorce is a fact of life. And there's also a Reiki practitioner channelling the danger Daniel is facing.

The ghost story element is interesting, but needed a bit more pace and mystery I think. The girl's death is rather gritty and gruesome, as befits a YA book, I suppose, and didn't sit that comfortably with me. I think the author needed either to go into the horror of her death in more detail and with more sensitivity, or not use this setting at all. But then I might be a bit too naive or sheltered in my approach to crime and life today.

All this said, it was an easy read, written well (although the girl calling Daniel 'young man' every now and again really didn't ring true for me), and I kept turning the pages. 

Review date: February 2012