Mia Dent is an ordinary girl, living a very lonely life in an inner city tower block housing estate where menace and violence is part of the everyday. She is very well adjusted considering she has a spiteful, unloving mother, and faces aggression and assault on a daily basis. She is living in an understated hell – a place where millions of Britons live – a neglected, ignored, inescapable hole of the unrepresented underclass. But Mia is a resilient and resourceful teen, and her undefeated spirit spurs her on to strengthen herself both mentally and physically. She aims to study hard and get a good education, while making her body ready for defence against the threat of daily attack. She is working on her confidence by building up her brain and her body. Mia is a wonderful character, and she makes rooting for her easy, even when she is misguidedly and embarrassingly stalking a man she spots on the tube one day.
This is Mia’s achilles heel. She is so busy obsessing over someone she has never met, that she has no inkling she’s being stalked herself and is the target of a serial rapist and killer.
Random Attachment by Gertrude T. Kitty is a terrific book. I enjoyed reading it immensely. It is reminiscent of a gritty British police drama, and I could imagine it being a two or three part TV adaptation. The dialogue is superb and very up to the minute, although I found myself questioning the realism of Mia’s monologues to the detectives on a few occasions – yet this does serve to move the narrative along effectively – and belief can be suspended. I loved the references to parts of London, and, if you are somewhat familiar with the city, it greatly adds to the enjoyment of the book – in fact it’s quite a delight in this respect. It’s gripping and keeps you hooked and guessing. I was suspicious of all the characters at certain points, and I appreciated the way in which the narrative led me to do this. It’s a very modern and current piece of writing, portraying the here and now truthfully and brilliantly.
Random Attachment is currently under the YA genre, however, as a humble reader, I would re-categorise it. Although I have little literary knowledge and no publishing knowledge, I would consider the crime fiction category to be more befitting. This fabulous read deserves to be nurtured by a recognised publisher and repackaged to reflect its magnificence.
Essentially, I found Random Attachment to be a love story too. The author weaves romance into the story well, and, as a result, I found myself harking back to those fresh, romantic days of my youth. Mia is easy to fall in love with as a reader: she is tremendously recognisable (for me, anyway!), and lacks any of the unpleasantness so often associated with fictional teens. She is a wonderful underdog, and is, undoubtedly, one of the excellent reasons to read Random Attachment. My love for RA is simple: it is a hugely entertaining book with a superb protagonist.