Maggot Moon – Sally Gardner

“I’m wondering what if. 
What if the football hadn’t gone over the wall. 
What if Hector had never gone looking for it. 
What if he hadn’t kept the dark secret to himself. 
What if…
Then I suppose I would be telling myself another story. You see, the what if’s are as boundless as the stars.”

Standish Treadwell’s best friend Hector went to retrieve a ball from the other side of the wall. The next day, Hector and his family were gone. Standish’s life changed when Hector came into it and now he’s gone it’s going to change again, for the worse. The Motherland is oppressing everyone in Standish’s world and he thinks there should be something done about it, not just for himself but for his best friend too. 

I loved Maggot Moon, I had a feeling I would because I love a good conspiracy theory but blend conspiracy with friendship, family and a lovable 15 year old boy who can’t even read or write and you get an amazing story. 
Standish is a sweet guy, he cant read or write and everyone thinks he’s stupid because of that, but really he’s not, he just cant do those things, he is actually very smart and is able to understand languages he doesn’t even speak just by taking in voices and body language. He knows when to keep quiet and when to stand out from the crowd, and he understands that some things are out of his control. The story is not linear and chops and changes between different events that Standish has been through, his parents disappearing, Hector and his family moving in, things like that. This is a little jarring at first but everything is needed so that you understand Standish and his feelings. 
The language used in Maggot Moon made the book very easy to read, it is told in first person perspective from Standish’s point of view and the language he uses is simple, but effective. In places he will use longer words but they fit in well with what he’s saying and I really felt like his voice was real, true. I was a bit thrown by the use of swearing in this book as I had originally thought it was intended for a younger audience. I didn’t mind the swearing and it wasn’t over the top, Standish uses “frick-fracking hell” instead of swearing most the time but the guards, officers and teachers swear a little. 
The book really is a journey and it shows a lot about people standing up for what they believe in and trying to make a difference. It does makes you really think about life and those in charge, how they got there and their motives. There isn’t a lot to be happy about in Standish’s world and its not a nice story but I enjoyed it all the same and think many teenagers will, especially older reluctant readers.  
Maggot Moon will be published on 30th August 2012 by Hot Key Books. My copy was received in exchange for an honest review via LoveReading.com
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