At 15, Gloria longs for adventure, something beyond her ordinary suburban life. When a mysterious new boy strolls into school, bent on breaking all the rules, Gloria is ready to fall under his spell.
Uman is funny, confident, and smart. He does what he wants without a care for what anyone thinks. The only people for him, he says, are the mad ones, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing but burn, burn, burn.
He is everything Gloria wants to be. He can whisk her away and show her a more daring, more exciting life in which the only limits are the boundaries of her own boldness. But Uman is not all he seems. And by the time she learns the truth about him, she’s a long way from home . . . and the whole country wants to know: Where’s Gloria?
For fans of Dreamland by Sarah Dessen, Stolen by Lucy Christopher, and the Mara Dyer books by Michelle Hodkin.
I was lucky enough to get to copy of Twenty Questions for Gloria from Walker Books to review!
This book had a sense of mystery that had me on my toes until the end. I honestly didn’t know what to expect from this book. The synopsis caught my attention and I knew I had to read it but I found it at times annoying how it kept jumping back and forth from past to present. As much as that annoyed me, the author wrote it really well. I also know that it had to be written like that to understand the story correctly. There are twenty one chapters, the first twenty each starting with a question (hence twenty questions for Gloria), which are asked by the police and the last is the epilogue.
The story follows Gloria, a 15 year old girl who does the same old boring things everyday and is just tired of her life. But that changes when Uman, a mysterious boy who can’t seem to keep his mouth shut turns up in her morning class. Combined with his wit, his uniqueness and his desire to know Gloria, she can’t seem to keep him out of her mind. The more she gets to know him, the more she realises how much she is missing out in life. Together they make a plan to run away, to live the ‘fugitive life’ for a day. But that day turns into 2 and then 5 and before Gloria knows it, she is a long way from home. What turned into a day trip has turned into 15 days and the police breathing down their necks trying to hunt down their trail. But Gloria doesn’t mind, she is with the boy she loves and finally finding herself. But as the days pass, the more Gloria realises her and Uman have very different ideas about where this trip is heading and it has her wondering if she will ever go home.
The book goes from present to past, present with her being found and questioned by the police and past, her story with Uman. What I loved most about this book was that there weren’t heaps of cliches. Although Uman is the cliche mysterious guy, the clichesiness ends there. He isn’t the cliche hot guy which made me like him more. I loved how Gloria instantly felt drawn towards him because of his uniqueness and personally rather than his looks. This book also deals with some deep teenage issues such as belonging, finding yourself as well as home problems such as feeling alone and not being wanted by your parents, leading you to do crazy things to be noticed. Although the end was not the tragic ending I thought it would be, it still left me feeling empty and a little angry at a certain character.
This book was a great and refreshing contemporary read and I definitely recommend!
“Man insisted he wasn’t telling me who I was, he was simply seeing it.
I didn’t know what to make of it. Or of him.
I didn’t sit with him in maths. I said no when he asked if I’d meet up with him after school to show him the sights of Litchbury.
Yet here I was, at lunchtime, Googling him.”
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn”
“You don’t tamper with fate Gloria.”