“The Stone in My Pocket” by Matthew Keeley – Review

“The Stone in My Pocket” by Matthew Keeley, is now available through Amazon and Book Depository

Rating:   ***** 

Genre: Fiction: Young Adult

Read:  March (Revised from 2020)

Nathan Love knows that he’s different. He’s different from his school mates, his family and his friends – if you can call them friends; they feel more like acquaintances to him. Something’s wrong at home, but his parents won’t talk to him about it, and his school grades are going nowhere at a time when he should be gearing up for his university applications. To top it all off, he is sure that there is a ghost in the house. He feels like an outsider, certain that everyone sees him as an unlovable weirdo.

One morning, while walking through his small home village to catch the bus to school, he spies a ‘help wanted’ sign in the window of the local book store. On a whim, he applies and gets the job. The shop owner, Iris, becomes a force in his life. In addition, to the book shop, she runs a local psychic circle and meditation group. Having sensed a psychic leaning in Nathan, she invites him to join to group. Nathan latches on to his new friendship circle, doing his darndest to fit in. He’s psychic, that’s the reason why he is different. Or is it?

Nathan is a wonderfully flawed character, who manages to simultaneously infuriate and endear himself to you, with his believable flaws, self-doubt, anxiety disorder and innate kindness. It is hard not to become a part of his voyage of self-discovery.

Keeley’s descriptions of the small Scottish village, with its winding streets, gothic church and grimy canal are pinpoint accurate. You can feel the crisp cold air, struggle with the dank lighting and walk the dark, lonely streets with Nathan, as he ruminates on the events of his life.
The plot builds smoothly, with little twists and turns along the way. The chapters are set in short grabs, making them easy to read and hard to put down.

“The Stone in my Pocket” is the second full novel by the author. The first “Turning the Hourglass” is a gripping science fiction novel, also worth a look at.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and loved pretty much everything about it. It is aimed at young adults but is easily accessible for any person, young or old, who has ever felt that they didn’t quite fit in.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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