Arctic Zoo

Author(s): Robert Muchamore

Young Adult Fiction

It isn't easy to change the world but you've got to keep trying. A bold and arresting YA novel from Robert Muchamore.


From London . . . Georgia gets straight A's at school, writes essays for fun, has placed first in twenty-six drone races and has a serious addiction to buying Japanese stationery. She plans to follow her older sister Sophie and become a doctor, but her worldview is shattered when Sophie commits suicide. 


To Lagos . . . Julius lives in Ondo, a Nigerian state where half the population lives on less than a dollar a day. But he isn't one of them. His uncle has been governor of Ondo for more than a decade and his mother is the power behind that throne. He finds refuge in a derelict zoo with best friend Duke, but as the two of them grow close, the world outside becomes more and more hostile. 


Following two teenagers living very different lives, Arctic Zoo is a startling contemporary novel about protest, sexuality, mental health and flawed leadership, from the bestselling author of the CHERUB series.


 

Ruth's Review:


Georgia, 15, is a drone racing champion but has plans to become a doctor like her older sister. However, when her sister kills herself, Georgia's world is shattered and she becomes involved with a socialist action group. An accidental poster girl, she ends up a media superstar, but her skill with drones gets her into serious trouble after a spectacular demonstration goes wrong and she is sent to an adolescent mental health unit.


Julius lives in Nigeria where his corrupt uncle is a state governor and his mother a powerful businesswoman. A loner, his only friend is Duke, a talented artist whose flamboyant appearance marks him out as a target for Julius' sadistic older brothers and cousin. As the boys' relationship goes beyond friendship, Julius is sent away to an English boarding school, but political turmoil and brutal attacks back home trigger a violent outburst and he too ends up at the same unit.


Most of Arctic Zoo focuses on Georgia's and Julius' separate stories, told through alternating chapter flashbacks after their initial meeting. Even though they have led very different lives, they bond during group therapy sessions, with a shared interest in exposing corruption and trying to set the world to rights. Georgia and Julius are both wonderful characters, brave and idealistic but with flaws too, and they suffer a lot of anguish during their journeys.

In a foreword Muchamore says he suffered from depression after becoming a bestselling author from his CHERUB series and spent several months in a psychiatric hospital. He wanted to write about the struggle young adults have in failing to live up to others' expectations. Arctic Zoo is the result.

Arctic Zoo deals with anarchy, corruption, gay themes and mental health and contains several violent scenes, making it more suited to age 14+

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General Fields

  • : 9781471408328
  • : Hot Key Books
  • : Hot Key Books
  • : March 2019
  • : ---length:- '23.4'width:- '15.3'units:- Centimeters
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Robert Muchamore
  • : Paperback
  • : English
  • : 823.92
  • : 480