Candy

by Kevin Brooks

Self-proclaimed average guy Joe falls hard and fast for a girl he meets quite by... read more

Self-proclaimed average guy Joe falls hard and fast for a girl he meets quite by accident on a trip from his suburban home to London. At first Candy is as sweet and charming as her name suggests, but as their relationship progresses, fifteen-year-old Joe learns that her life is far more complicated than he could possibly imagine. She is a heroin addict and a prostitute working for a ruthless pimp named Iggy. Joe also discovers that while he and Candy now move in totally separate spheres, they began their lives in much the same place: both grew up in similar middle class suburbs. It soon becomes clear that both Joe and Candy are fighting addictions: Candy to her drugs, and Joe to Candy. They both vacillate between a conviction to fight against their compulsions and utter resignation. Joe’s love for Candy feels so overpowering he can think only of saving her. Taking her to his parents’ country cottage, he sits with her while she goes through a brutal detoxification. Meanwhile, Iggy kidnaps Joe’s sister, Gina, in order to get Candy back. Brooks’s novel is a gritty and horrifying look at the many repercussions of addiction. (Ages 14–17)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2006

show less