Inside my head by Jim Carrington

I have a nervous guilty feeling in my stomach, and I haven’t even started lying yet.

 Publishers’ blurb

This cleverly constructed narrative consists of three points of view: of Gary, constantly victimised by the school bully in a nasty, name-calling and vindictive way; the bully’s friend, David and a new girl to the school, Zoe.

All viewpoints are revealing.

Gary reveals the painful and often unsuccessful attempts by a young man to control his anger under great provocation – and his inability to communicate.

David is someone who is uncomfortable with the bullying but doesn’t dare to do anything about it – until the end.

Zoe is a young woman who can see Gary through different eyes and is independent, freethinking and brave.

Also featured in this title are rampaging tractors, shotguns and cheese puffs.

Photo courtesy of Sonja Timpson

Further information

Jim Carrington’s website

Jim Carrington at Lovereading4kids

Books for Keeps review


7 comments on “Inside my head by Jim Carrington

  1. I wasn’t sure about this book at first. Not my usual genre but it didn’t take me long to get in to it. The story is told from three different points of view, the bullied boy, the new girl, who befriends him and a friend of the bully, who knows he should be doing something to stop the abuse. The descriptions of the verbal abuse are very realistic and the bully made me see red! There is some very strong language in the book but it seems in context with the character of the bullied boy. At the end you aren’t quite sure how everything is going to turn out – it’s either going to come to a happy ending or be a tragedy. I’m not going to give the ending away but it isn’t fairytale!

  2. I thought this book tackled the main theme of bullying in a way that’s very relevant in today’s society. The narrative structure takes the form of first person accounts of three young people, told alternately: Zoe, David and Gary. Gary is a victim of bullying. Zoe is the sweet and caring girl who takes him under her wing. David is the reticent and bewildered friend of the bully, Paul. I think that each character is relatable, however the character of the bully could be explained in more detail. Why does he feel compelled to do what he does to Gary? What are his issues and fears?

    The use of language is VERY strong: multiple “F” words pepper several pages. Having said this I think the use of strong language is a useful tool in creating characters that are realistic and engaging. After all, these are first person accounts of individuals from different social backgrounds-and their stories are conveyed so well in no small part by style, and the use of colloquialism and grammatical errors in speech.

    It is simply written but packs a punch-its themes could make it a real hit with teenagers, like Linda Strachan’s Spider did last year.

  3. The cover of this book gripped me from the start – before even reading the blurb. Although, after reading, the book was average, I still believe that it has one of the best covers. But anyway, this book didn’t meet my expectations, however it was still a good book. It was certainly gripping and I certainly wanted to find out how it all ended, but I was unimpressed by the poor sentence structure and use of vocabulary (although I’m not sure if that’s because I had just read a Dickens’ novel). Also the continual use of the infamous “F-word” was certainly another down-side to the novel. I have no objects to it being including once or twice in extreme moments of rage, however other than that I don’t think it should be in a book aimed a younger teenagers. Words like “fecking” could simply be used instead. I doubt this book will appear on the shortlist although it had a gripping and thrilling plot.

    • I don’t entirely agree with you “Damon” it’s a teenage focused book and it relates to what teenagers actually talk like. I mean I bet you swear in your head like that and remember Gary is an angry boy.

      • A book can be focussed at teenagers without constant swearing. Appropriate substitutions could have easily been made, and still conveyed his anger. A talented author could easily manipulate language; fair enough, swear in occasional rage, but not excessively! The book is still for children, after all. And at that age, no way would you find me swearing. You lose the bet “Stephen!”.

  4. In English I am reading a book called “Inside My Head”.

    Each chapter is a part of one of four teenagers lives, it tells you what’s going on in their heads & how they think and feel .

    At the start it seems as if it’s four different stories but then somehow they join up .

    So far the book has been very interesting and I will keep reading it to find out the whole story and see how it ends .

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