‘The Trial’ – Laura Bates

A solid read, which will serve its purpose if it gets just one person to think about the way they treat others. Once again, Laura Bates brings her social commentary to a story that you find yourself drawn into.

I don’t usually comment on covers, but this was one I felt drawn to. It shows the power girls could have, in the right circumstances, and it emphasises just how small this little world that the group of characters inhabit is.

Seven teens survive a planet crash as they are travelling back from a baseball tournament. They are, initially, excited by the break from routine but it doesn’t take long for the gaps and issues between them to bubble up.

Very different personalities; each thinks they know the other but their time on the island soon shows they don’t know as much as they think.

Strange events start to take place and some of these events are serious in their potential for harm. A sense of mistrust soon develops and all we know is that it has something to do with a party that was held before the night of their crash. Who is behind this? Can they find out what is going on before someone is seriously hurt?

We learn fairly early on that the tension is real, and that it links to their life before the island. Of course we want to know exactly what led to this point, though it felt quite obvious fairly early on what we’d focus on.

The crash came from now where but as a means to an end it works well. The group don’t seem to know each other very well, and though we could see the developing issues, it was good to see how they all slowly came to realise the significance of their actions/inaction. Unfortunately, it felt as if the latter part of the story was rushed which was a shame as it certainly is a story that has resonance.

This is a book that you feel you ought to recommend though, and I’m grateful to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read the book before publication.