‘I don’t have my headphones on yet, but the music is always in there. I have a constant walking soundtrack to my life you see. There is a song for everything.’
In the decade of grunge and Britpop, 13 year old Danny is a music fan in the making. He is also on a mission to deter unsuitable men from his beautiful single mother. With his best friends behind him, a soundtrack in his head and first love on the horizon, things are looking good until local nightclub owner Lee Howard comes on the scene and sweeps Danny’s mother off her feet. What do you do when your mother is dating a real life monster and no one can see it but you? A dark and powerful drama about friendship, music and the choice between escaping and fighting back.
Originally released in two parts, The Boy with the Thorn in His Side has recently been re-edited and re-released into one gripping read!
Buy The Boy with the Thorn in his Side directly from Amazon
Reviews of The Boy with the Thorn in His Side
“A brilliant read. This book is made of gritty stuff and also had me captivated. It is compelling and I recommend it to anyone. This book should not be stereotyped for any particular reader. It deals with some uncomfortable issues but it is so well written. The characters are full and the story unpredictable. It is informative and interesting. At times I was very involved in the book and I think the extracts from the boyfriend character really add to the story. I think Chantelle is a great new writer and I can’t wait to read more.” Miss S Tearall via Amazon.co.uk
“This is the second book that I’ve read by Atkins, and I must say I am so impressed with her storytelling and writing skills. This book had me from the beginning. I was so wondering what was going on with the knife … and I wasn’t disappointed. Written in first person, it gives a great insight into what was going to happen next, and most importantly, why. I love this story. I’m glad I made the time to sit and read this, as I only put it down when I had to. It’s so interesting to read what was going on inside the rage, the anger, the living only to fight. It was an amazing book, and I may just read it again, in case I missed something.” Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews
“Chantelle Atkins has created a completely believable monster in Howard Lee; a sociopath that in a less skilful author’s hands would come over as two dimensional and consequently uninteresting. The unusual and very successful switching of the viewpoint between Howard and Danny, the Boy, allows the reader to engage with both sides of the story and the chance to choose which protagonist to empathise with, although in my opinion anyone who is on Howard’s side by the middle of the story should see a psychiatrist.
Music ranging from Heavy Metal to Bob Dylan to Brit Pop and back again features strongly as Danny’s only solace from the harsh reality of his situation and if this story were ever made into a film or TV serial it would have a great soundtrack. Maybe the book should be sold with a CD included.
It is not a comfortable book but well worth reading even though it stirred up feeling of anger and sadness, not emotions I find being invoked by the kind of books I normally read, and can only attribute this to the skill of the author in writing such a believable story with such strong and well-developed characters.” Mike Hill, via Amazon.co.uk
“This is a powerful and compelling novel, telling the story of an alienated and damaged adolescent boy. The book opens with Danny, the central protagonist, searching for a knife with which to kill someone. Chantelle Atkins cleverly keeps us guessing throughout the following chapters who it is that he hates so much and why they have incited him to murder.
Atkins is an excellent writer, using language to vividly create Danny’s world; from the beginning we are drawn into his story and held riveted until the end. The relationships between the teenagers, both between the boys and between Danny and his girlfriend Lucy, are vividly and convincingly portrayed.
While we empathise first and foremost with Danny, the author also wins our sympathies for his volatile mother and put-upon elder brother, using Danny’s narrative to help the reader realise things that Danny himself fails to see.
As the novel develops, the story grows darker and more disturbing.” Amazon reviewer
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