This is a book that I’ve been looking forward to for a while, after reading his first offering Mary’s The Name I was intrigued to see what kind of adventure we would be taken on next.
FOURTH YEAR. TWO PALS. ONE MURDER.WELCOME TO BATTLEFIELD HIGH…
‘Whoever said yer school days are the best days ae yer life was at the absolute wind up. I hink maist adults dinnae mind whit it was really like. Wait til yeese hear whit Sonny and me got detention for…’
Daughter and Sonny are two best friends just trying to get through fourth year at high school. But when their favourite teacher leaves unexpectedly, and no one will say why, the boys decide to start their own investigation. As they dig deeper into the staff at Battlefield High, they discover a dark secret which one person will kill to protect…
Will they uncover the truth without being expelled? Can their friendship survive when personal secrets are revealed? And will they manage to skive off double English?
Sonny and Me is definitely one of my favourite reads this year, it is fantastic. I was expecting a lot after reading Mary’s The Name but this book has surpassed all my expectations and then some.
It’s the kind of book that I would caution against reading in public unless you’re ok with people giving you funny looks, I was laughing before the end of the first chapter and then throughout most of the book. There were a lot of casual comments, usually from Sonny, that cracked me up but even some of the situations the boys found themselves in were just generally humorous.
For me this book was kind of like being transported back in time, so many things that I had forgotten about the high school experience came rushing back and gave me this feeling of camaraderie with the boys. It’s difficult not to love Sonny and Daughter, their friendship is wonderful but not always perfect, it has the right balance for two people still trying to figure themselves out.
The family dynamics in this book were also brilliant and usually had me in stitches, the Daughter family particularly were very relatable, it’s always in the little things like arguing who is going to get the door at a time when you aren’t expecting anyone. I was glad that there was a good relationship between Billy (Daughter) and his sister, even though there could have been reasons for a rivalry between them, they had each other’s backs.
It took me a second to get used to reading in Scots but after that I could easily hear it in my mind, I think it’s because the author has such a clear writing style that just immerses you into the words and keeps you engaged with his wit. He has also managed to capture the voices of the characters really well and create a cast that you want to read about.
The plot was fantastic because it weaved this element of the mystery that the boys are trying to solve through their everyday events, it wasn’t the sole focus of the book, we are also seeing how they navigate teenage life. It made for a more authentic reading experience and meant that I was totally absorbed in the book and didn’t want it to end.
I’m already looking forward to seeing what Ross Sayers comes up with next.
Ross studied English in his hometown of Stirling. Not content with the one graduation, he completed a Masters in Creative Writing the following year. His stories and poems have featured in magazines such as Octavius and Quotidian. Ross also tried his hand at acting in the university’s Drama Society, which gave him valuable life experience at being an extra with no lines.
One of his short stories, Dancin’, was used on West College Scotland’s Higher English course. He only found out after a student tweeted him requesting a copy of the story so she could finish her essay.
Ross mainly reads contemporary and literary fiction, and loves it when a writer remembers to include an interesting plot. He heartily endorses not finishing books which bore you.
While researching Mary’s the Name in Portree, gift shop employees excitedly mistook him for Daniel Radcliffe; Ross had to burst their bubble. But at a football match in London, he agreed to have his photo taken with a wee boy, who believed he was Harry Potter, to save any tears or tantrums.