Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence


Sixteen-year-old Marlon has promised his widowed mum that he’ll be good, and nothing like his gang-leader brother Andre. But everything changes when Marlon’s first date with the beautiful Sonya ends in tragedy; he becomes a hunted man and he has no idea why. With his dad dead and his brother helpless, Marlon has little choice but to enter Andre’s old world of guns, knives and drug runs in order to uncover the truth and protect those close to him. It’s time to fight to be the last man standing

Some people may read Orangeboy thinking Marlon Sunday is one of the most infuriating young men you have ever encountered. Why does he do things the way he does? Why does he make decisions that those of us who don’t live the life he does would consider damaging? Patrice Lawrence’s writing is so superbly that you can’t fail to become fully immersed in Marlon’s world and completely understand why he decides to follow the course of action that he eventually takes.

I read Orangeboy through screams at the book of “WHY….NO….DON’T DO THAT MARLON…THERE IS ANOTHER WAY”, and the last few chapters I read almost without breathing, trying to simultaneously hide behind my hands and read to the end as fast as I could to find out what happens to Marlon and his family.

Marlon is a completely ordinary young man who reacts to the circumstances around him in a believable and natural way. His desire to protect his family and friends is what makes this story, at heart, one about how far a person will go to protect the people he loves.

Orangeboy is one of those books I wish had been written when I was a teenager. This is an important book for anyone living through the circumstances depicted in the story to read, but also vital for everyone else who pretends that these things don’t happen. Sometimes people do make the wrong decision out of good intentions, and that shouldn’t be ignored.

A gripping rollercoaster ride through a young man’s brave attempts to save those he loves, as the past chases after them and threatens to destroy everything. This book is simply brilliant and if you’re looking for a story full of drama and real life experiences, that will grip you until the last page, then you’ve found the right novel.

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