dan freedman

Book Review: ‘Unstoppable’ by Dan Freedman

Secrets and lies… secrets and lies…

Fourteen-year-old twins, Kaine and Roxy, used to be close, but now they can hardly bear to be in the same room.

Roxy hates the way her brother behaves – Kaine might be brilliant at football, but he’s always in trouble and seems determined to tear the family apart.

And Kaine despises the way his supposedly perfect sister dominates their parents in her ambition to reach Wimbledon.

But the twins are both hiding dangerous secrets of their own, secrets that could destroy everything they are working towards – and both Roxy and Kaine’s survival hangs precariously in the balance.

‘Unstoppable’ is the new young adult novel from Dan Freedman, best known as the author of the bestselling Jamie Johnson football series. This time, Dan combines the football and tennis worlds to tell the story of twins Kaine and Roxy, who are at loggerheads on their journey to becoming sporting superstars.

Roxy is working her way towards Wimbledon, however, finds herself feeling suffocated by her dad’s overbearing support. Kaine, on the other hand, has hopes of playing in the Premier League. Feeling neglected by his parents and resenting the support Roxy receives, Kaine seeks validation elsewhere which sparks the beginning of a whole lot of trouble for the Campbell family.

Just when you think you know where the story is heading, Dan throws in twists and turns which make ‘Unstoppable’ a wonderfully captivating yet gritty novel. There are many themes throughout including gang culture, rivalry, peer pressure, coming of age, death, expectations, and more. Despite being a YA novel, Dan doesn’t shy away from tackling issues which are prevalent in today’s society.

As someone with no sporting interest whatsoever, I questioned how much I would enjoy ‘Unstoppable’ but I was more than pleasantly surprised with the outcome. The story goes in a completely different direction to what I had anticipated and sport is just one of the many factors throughout. The nature of the book and the issues that Kaine and Roxy face will draw you in whether you enjoy football and tennis or not.

As the main protagonists, you get a real insight into the worlds of both Kaine and Roxy including their pressures and struggles. Kaine is portrayed as selfish and difficult at times yet his gentle side is highlighted through flashbacks with his beloved grandmother, whilst body confidence is one of the issues which plagues Roxy throughout. Both of the twins have endearing and likeable qualities, allowing you to empathise with them for various reasons.

Dan’s writing style, in addition to the use of diary entries, texts and newspaper cuttings, allows ‘Unstoppable’ to flow so naturally that you just have to keep reading. He brings emotion and drama to the pages in equal measure, the result of which will stay with you long after you finish the book.

‘Unstoppable’ is a triumphant offering from Dan Freedman which will resonate with a lot of the youth of today. A powerful and inspiring read, it carries a strong message and shines a light on many of the important issues within society which rarely feature in YA books.

‘Unstoppable’ is out now.

Thank you to David Fickling Books for providing an advance copy.

Are you a fan of Dan Freedman and his books? Let us know on Twitter @Fuzzable

Written by Katrina

twenty-something charity shop manager and aspiring journalist with a penchant for boybands. Email: katrinanaomirees@gmail.com

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