Kirsten Reed - The Ice Age (4 stars)

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Kirsten Reed - The Ice Age

(Picador)

In case you hadn’t noticed, vampires are all the rage right now. So the subject matter of Kirsten Reed’s debut novel couldn’t be more apt. A disillusioned teen, desperate for a bit of adventure, meets an older bohemian bloke she reckons could well be one of the un-dead on account of his ice white skin, creepy demeanour and fangs, and decides to take a road trip through America with him. Put like that it all sounds a bit Twilight-esque, which it might well be in less talented hands.

Reed, however, does a brilliant job with The Ice Age, detailing compellingly and candidly her main character’s life-changing experiences as she travels from town to town encountering a whole host of messed-up characters. As a result it’s a gripping, gritty, occasionally uncomfortable and yet strangely romantic read, as we discover more about our fearless narrator and her changing view of the world.

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