Sixteen-year-old Jack gets drunk and is in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is kidnapped. He escapes, narrowly. The only person he tells is his best friend, Conner. When they arrive in London as planned for summer break, a stranger hands Jack a pair of glasses. Through the lenses, he sees another world called Marbury.
There is war in Marbury. It is a desolate and murderous place where Jack is responsible for the survival of two younger boys. Conner is there, too. But he’s trying to kill them.
Meanwhile, Jack is falling in love with an English girl, and afraid he’s losing his mind.
Conner tells Jack it’s going to be okay.
But it’s not.
Andrew Smith has written his most beautiful and personal novel yet, as he explores the nightmarish outer limits of what trauma can do to our bodies and our minds.
My Thoughts on the Book:
Believe me when I say that Andrew Smith's The Marbury Lens is something else. Also, it's not for the faint-hearted.
The Marbury Lens is dark, gritty, terrifying, yet unexpectedly addicting, so you'll probably find yourself torn between not wanting to read more, because it might be too much at times, yet at the same time not wanting to stop, because you'll want to see what will happen next. At least, that's what happened to me.
The world of Marbury is full of danger & horrors, and one of the most morbid worlds I've encountered, and I wouldn't want to be a part of it. Yet, at the same time, I was more interested in what was happening there than in Jack's real life.
I don't really know how to talk about this story without spoiling it, but from the beginning, you know that this won't be an easy read, but it's in-your-face dark & realistic, and so, so terrifying & suspenseful - both in the real world & in Marbury.
Jack gets kidnapped, and we follow what he goes through, and just thinking about that right now, I get the same feelings I got while reading it, so as I said, The Marbury Lens is not for the faint-hearted. After that, Jack goes to England as he planned pretending that nothing happened, and meets Henry Hewitt & gets the Marbury glasses, and delves into that fascinating & terrifying world, and through it all tries to stay sane, and not go totally crazy, although he already thinks he's gone a little bit crazy after what he calls himself - his defining moment. Soon, the lines between the world of Marbury & his real world start to blur, not knowing what's real & what's not.
Andrew Smith's writing style was awesome. He wrapped me up with his words in this unique story he created, and he made me care about what the characters are going through, and got me hooked, wondering what will happen next & I kept turning the pages, until I was finished. He made me cry, he made me sad, and he made me sit at the edge of my sit through most of the book, it was that suspenseful. This was the first Andrew Smith book that I read, but it won't be the last.
I found the characters to be really likable. Jack, poor Jack, my heart was breaking for him, and everything he's been & was going through. I think that his escape to Marbury really helped him in a way, even though he seemed & acted like an addict, but I could understand him, because of Ben & Griffin (I loved those guys). And I really liked the friendship between Jack & Conner, Conner is a real friend when he has to be. But, my favorite character without a doubt was Seth - his story was so sad & heartbreaking, and I cried so much, and he was amazing.
I was really happy with the ending, mainly because I know that there's a sequel, and I'm really looking forward to reading it, I hope it will be just as great as this one, and that what's exactly going on will finally be revealed.
I highly recommend The Marbury Lens to those who don't mind the dark, unique, gritty & different, as well as fans of horror, because this is a book that I know will stay with me for a very long time, and I know I didn't do it justice with my review, but it's one of those rare memorable books, which you just have to experience for yourself.