Book Review: Born Scared (Kevin Brooks)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Egmont UK

Pages: 256

Release Date: September 8th 2016

Summary (from Goodreads):

Elliot is terrified of almost everything.

From the moment he was born, his life has been governed by acute fear. The only thing that keeps his terrors in check are the pills that he takes every day.

It’s Christmas Eve, there’s a snowstorm and Elliot’s medication is almost gone. His mum nips out to collect his prescription. She’ll only be 10 minutes – but shen she doesn’t come back, Elliot must face his fears and try to find her. She should only be 400 metres away. It might as well be 400 miles…


I read a couple of Kevin Brooks’ books when I was a teen and really enjoyed them – they’re on my reread pile for sure – so I was really excited when this one popped up on NetGalley.

I really really wanted to like it, but unfortunately this book just didn’t do a lot for me. It wasn’t bad and I didn’t hate it but I just wasn’t that into it either.

As the blurb says, Elliot is scared of everything. And I mean everything. All people – who he calls monkems – bar his mum, aunt and doctor. Cars. Dogs. Santa. Colours. Everything. So when he has to venture outside and encounters cars, dogs and crooks dressed as Santa, you can imagine how well that goes down. Elliot keeps his fears just at bay by taking medication, but he is down to his last pill and both his aunt and mum have mysteriously disappeared trying to fetch his prescription, so Elliot braves the outside world to get it for himself.

I felt the beginning of the book was very slow as we learn about Elliot’s childhood, from a traumatic birth where his twin sister dies, to his fears of anything and everything. It took a long time for him to actually go outside, which was where the story got more interesting. Alongside this we see two men planning to rob a bank, whose story is about to become entwined with Elliot’s. I actually found these bits more interesting than Elliot’s constant fear monologue and I felt that’s what drove the story more than anything else.

This is Kevin Brooks, so the story is well written, I just don’t think this one was for me.