Book Review – Who Owns All The Oranges?

by Oran Burke
Started: 15th July 2014
Finished: 17th July 2014

I received this book through GoodReads First Reads. The synopsis on the website sounded interesting so I entered the giveaway, I was very eager to start reading it once I had been sent it. However it wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for.

This novella focuses on a conversation between Mr. O’Dwyer and his seventeen-year-old daughter Cassie. It’s 2030 and Britain has changed dramatically in the past few years, and Cassie wants to understand why. People are disappearing and no one is speaking out, even her father has stopped writing his critical political pieces. But why?

Considering we’re only exposed to two (three maximum) characters in some detail, I still feel I didn’t really make any connections with them. Usually dialogue is a great place to establish a characters personality as a way of showing and not telling, but I didn’t really feel as though this happened in this story. You were able to get an understanding that Mr. O’Dwyer is considered a rebel against the government, and that Cassie is a normal, inquisitive teenager. However I really enjoyed seeing Mr. O’Dwyer in the flashbacks, his sarcasm to the workers of The Stability System made me smile and it was nice seeing some kind of personality in this character, that you don’t really see in the present day parts.

It’s interesting reading something that’s nearly entirely in dialogue, however for me it didn’t work quite the way I thought it would. There are times where it worked really well, however when he was explaining certain things to his daughter it did feel like I was back in my A-Level politics classroom. This occurs for most of the first half of the book which made it difficult for me to stick with reading, as much as I enjoyed my politics lessons, I didn’t really want to hear some of it again. It’s relevant to the story but a bit of a bore to read. When it starts getting into what happened from 2017 and onwards, then it starts to become interesting. Unfortunately that isn’t until nearly halfway through. The flashbacks were my favourite parts of the novel, I liked the narration of them and I preferred seeing what happened to being told. Especially when some of the speech isn’t convincing.

I would have preferred this book if it was showing Mr. O’Dwyer and his wife living through what he was explaining to his daughter Cassie. It didn’t really feel as though there was a plot to this, that it was more of an explanation of events. Although at the end this makes far more sense as I realise that this is the first volume and there is another one to come. The book got better as it went on, but by the time I really got into it, it was over!

I feel as though I will get the second volume when it’s released as something was finally happening, and I want to know where it’s going to go next. The idea is great and has a lot of potential. Where it’s set in the very near future and has relevant information in, it’s very unsettling and will stay with me. I would recommend it, however you will need to battle through the first half of the book to get to something rewarding.

Rating: 2.5/5


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