The Radleys by Matt Haig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I picked up The Radleys as I always like to read about family life and how other families are dysfunctional as mine!
I had a very pleasant surprise when I started reading this book! I really enjoyed how from the outside, the Radleys looked like your average 2.4 children type family, but were actually hiding a dark secret, even from their own children. They are a family of abstaining vampires! This isn’t a spoiler as it says it on the back of the book, but I hadn’t read the blurb so had quite a shock when I realised what their secret was! I think this says more about me than the book!
The book is very much focussed around the revelation to the two teenage Radleys of the reason why they are so different to their peers and are so lethargic and have an aversion to garlic. An event in the story means that their parents can no longer keep it a secret from them that they are vampires and we follow them as they come to terms with their true background and meet with their uncle who is an outcast from the family.
I really liked that this book was so grounded in reality and as a reader I didn’t have to learn about a whole new world as vampirism just seemed normal. The story was well paced and a different take on the traditional dysfunctional family story. I also liked that this didn’t feel like a clichéd vampire story, but was very fresh and modern. I would describe it as reality with a hint of vampire. I also liked that there wasn’t too much emphasis on the supernatural and just allowed the reader to enjoy a very humorous view on family life.
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