Rate this book

The Knife That Killed Me (2010)

by Anthony McGowan(Favorite Author)
3.63 of 5 Votes: 3
0385738226 (ISBN13: 9780385738224)
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
review 1: Paul is your typical, middle of the road, middle of the pack, Catholic Comp student. This makes him an easy target for the sadistic school bully Roth. His usual MO is keep your head down, ignore them, and they’ll move on. However, one day Roth turns the table and incorporates Paul into one of his evil plans. Paul soon finds himself caught between a rock and a hard place, when Roth gives him a knife for safe keeping. He must choose whether to do the right thing and risk becoming ostracized again or be one of the lads and face the consequences.This was a really great UK YA book dealing with universal issues but it is also something that is extremely prevalent in our UK schools - if we are to believe the papers anyway. I have been out of those hallways for quite a while now... more so I couldn’t say for sure. The Knife That Killed Me was a fast paced story with no frills - just some cold hard truths. The main one being, if you’ve got a weapon, you’ll probably end up using it no matter what you say. You will then have to face the consequences. This is something that needs to be hammered home over and over again to our young and vulnerable. Anthony McGowan did a really nice job of showing the inner conflict of the average teenager through Paul. Maybe the baddie - Roth - was overly bad. Then again, we all know kids can be cruel, so maybe Roth was an accurate depiction of the noughteens (is that what we’re calling this decade?) bully? I was lucky in that my schools were never like this but I’m sure there will be many readers who can relate to Paul’s story. However, we definitely had characters like Shane and his gang at our school and a teacher eerily similar to Mrs Eel!If I were an English or Drama teacher, I would definitely try to plan a few lessons around The Knife That Killed Me. It provides a wealth of discussion points and the twist at the end means it would stick with the students for a long time.
review 2: Paul Varderman is an outsider in his high school, and outsiders are always vulnerable for harassment when they are alone. One day, a violent boy named Roth and his band of thugs Miller and Bates approach Paul about a package. Without much of a choice, Paul is forced to deliver the package to a kid named Goddo at the rival school Temple Moor. Paul's high school and Temple Moor have a violent history. When Paul's dad went to school, he had taken part in a massive fight between the two schools that took place in the Gypsy Field (it's called the Gypsy Field because gypsies used to dwell in the area). Throughout the story, Paul befriends a band of people called "the freaks". He realizes they really aren't freaks, but outsiders just like him. This is an excellent novel because of the wonderful imagery and colorful language(including a British dialect) used. In other words, this novel is phenomenal because of the harsh reality it portrays, advancing in a tragic plot that goes against most books with fairy-tale endings. The first example of our protagonist facing a harsh reality is when he is stood up by the girl of his fancy, Maddy. When Paul is asking Maddy out on a date to the movies, you can tell that she is preoccupied with something else. For instance, after he asks her, he thinks to himself, " Then I noticed that Maddy's eyes had drifted beyond me. I looked round. Shane was waiting near the entrance." (McGowan, 136) Being the oblivious person that he is, Paul is convinced he and Maddy are actually going on a date despite her neglect of attention. The result is Paul feeling betrayed and humiliated at the movies after waiting for the girl of his dreams who would never come. Another example of Paul facing a tragic situation is when he ends up killing Shane. Paul has a boy named Mickey by his throat with a knife. Mickey had charged at him, and Paul managed to disarm him and steal the knife. What happened next next was something Paul would have never predicted. Shane was trying to pry him off of Mickey, and Paul, thinking he was being attacked, stabbed him in the ribs. When Paul saw who it was, he was devastated. Shane was a good friend of his, probably his best friend. When he finds himself in jail, he hoped his friends would come to see him, but he knew it was a hopeless thing to think of. He says, " I hoped Maddy might come to see me, and the other freaks, Billy, Stevie, Serena. I could have explained to them what happened, got them to forgive me. But they will never come, and they will hate me forever. I think about Maddy, and imagine a life we might have had together. Not even a whole life, but just a few months, a year, two years, going out, normal things. Never, never, never, never, never." (McGowan,212) The author uses repetition to show what Paul holds most dear to him, and also exemplifies the dread he feels for what he's done and what could have been. This book was an excellent read, and if you're looking for something that isn't stagnant and plagued with cheesy romance or vampires, this is the book for you. less
Reviews (see all)
Woah - that was intense. I feel so sad for kids who grow up this way.
it a pretty good book but its confusing but ya get-r-dun
I really didn't like it that much couldn't get into
A good book but diappointed in the ending.
Wonderful, but upsetting.
Write review
Review will shown on site after approval.
(Review will shown on site after approval)