Today I am reviewing a great YA novel in the form of The Wrong Side of Kai by Estelle Maskame. Many thanks to Estelle, and to Black and White Publishing, for my copy of the book, which I received via NetGalley.
Vanessa Murphy doesn’t do relationships.
With a father who doesn’t notice her, it’s easy for her to sneak around with her latest fling, Harrison Boyd. But when an explicit video of Vanessa hooking up with Harrison is leaked the morning after she ends things with him, her life is thrown into chaos.
And Vanessa wants payback. Enter Kai. With his own vendetta against Harrison, Kai proposes revenge, and the two pair up to ruin Harrison Boyd’s life. At first, they are nothing more than an illicit partnership. Teammates working towards the same mission.
But – between late-night stakeouts and crime committing – Vanessa is drawn into Kai’s life. And, as the two grow closer, she finds herself letting Kai into hers.
The Wrong Side of Kai is a book of two halves for me, as the two main characters divided my thoughts entirely. I found Vanessa a hard character to like at first. She seems a bit conceited and self-centred, thinking she can get any guy she wants and that everyone likes her. Her attitude to her dad’s grief seems harsh and although I understand that she is acting out because of her own grief, she seems to use losing her mum as an excuse for sleeping around. In contrast I totally adored Kai right from the start with his quirky humour and warm, slightly strange family.
The Wrong Side of Kai covers a lot of issues that are important to the YA community, but does so in an accessible manner. This is the first of Estelle Maskame’s books that I have read, but I suspect it won’t be the last.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Estelle Maskame is a novelist from Peterhead in Scotland. After gaining universal acclaim online during her teenage years, she signed a print contract with the Edinburgh-based publisher Black & White Publishing at the age of seventeen. She left school and now writes full-time.