I picked this book up as it was featured on the longlist for the 2016 Carnegie Awards.
Cyberbullying has become something of a hot topic in YA fiction, reflecting our concerns with just how the perceived anonymity of social media can impact on behaviour. This is a little more interesting because of its knowing nods to Stevenson’s Gothic classic.
Sam has had a hellish experience, seeing his mother murdered by his father, and he is obviously concerned about his own behaviour and potential for violence. He is asked by his English teacher to take part in a new project – ‘Project Hyde’ – and the experience is, initially, exhilarating. Sam quickly becomes aware of the growing obsession those in this group have with the project, and the impact it is having on their behaviour.
This was dark and fairly graphic on occasion, which might be off-putting to younger readers. However, with many teenagers now having to study ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ this is an interesting modern exploration of some of the novel’s key ideas.