Book Review | Man Down | By James Goodhand
TheWriteReads Ultimate Blog Tour | YA thriller
Narrative and Plot
Man down has the advantage of a non-linear narrative. We have one pov that foreshadows future events, and the other is the main character Will who takes the journey along with the readers. There are many ways a non-linear narrative can go wrong, especially with a time-jumping premise. However, if done right, it can be riveting like this one.
The plot is strong, and that keeps you hooked to the pages. There are a lot of topics covered in the book but it never overshadows the principal theme of the book, which I believe is the coming of age story of Will Parks.
Characters and Conflict
Will Parks is the main character of this story. He is your typical shy and awkward teenage boy with a lot going on in his life. At the lowest point of his life, Will encounters something strange and mysterious. From there, his life takes a turn for the better. However, all is not that simple. This mysterious entity has a mission for Will and in order to achieve it, Will needs to grow and become the “man” that he is supposed to be.
This brings us to the central conflict of the story without which the character arc of Will Parks would never be complete. There are very few books that shed light on toxic masculinity and how the idea is propagated around society. Not just in our social circle, but even within our family. Will starts as prey to these archaic ideas. However the moment he makes peace with himself and lets go of the idea of what is expected of him, his character arc is elevated to that of a confident young man or some might even say ” hero”.
The ensemble cast is well rounded and complements the main character’s journey. The ending is smart and kind of leaves you in a hopeful situation or a perpetually perplexed one depending on how you interpret things.
Overall, Man Down is a must-read in today’s times. It has a lot of trigger warnings. So make sure you check them before picking it up. But if you are up for it, hop in for a roller coaster ride of emotions and philosophies that will make you question the gender norms of the world we live in.
The review is published for TheWriteReads Ultimateblogtour in association with Penguin . I received an e-Copy of the book from TheWriteReads, the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.