Paperback, 365 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Bloomsbury UK
(first published January 1st 2011)
1408802708 (ISBN13: 9781408802700)
Joe and Ash are best friends. Ash is the leader, Joe the one who follows. Then one night after a party, Joe and Ash come across a holdall, seemingly abandoned by the side of the road. They open it up ...and find GBP20,000 in cash. Of course they're going to hand it straight to the police. Aren't they? Or is all that money just too tempting? Whoever has lost it won't notice if a bit goes missing, will they? And that is precisely when the trouble starts ...Jim Carrington has already established himself as a fine writer for teens with his debut novel, Inside My Head. With In the Bag, he shows how horribly easy it is for two teenage boys to make a car crash of their lives, through an unlucky combination of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and making a handful of wrong decisions.
I'm not 100% sure of what to make to make of this book, it seems to have a lot of depth to it and I can see one of the reasons as to why it might be somewhat popular at the moment. its one of those books that are clearly meant to made you think, to have you put yourself in the story and to have you consider your own actions. The book itself is very basic, another story about two cliche young male teenagers, finishing their GCSE's with one whose all attitude and another whose all smart and brains if he puts his mind to it. But the classic twist comes with the fact that they find a bag, a bag that does not belong to them, a bag that contains things that should be given to the police, that should be handed in upon immediate discovery. I love the thought provoking depth to it because it just made me wonder what I would do in that situation. Like many, I struggle for money, and I think that if I were to find £20,000 then I too, would be tempted to use that to my advantage to clear of debts, and everything else. This is what makes it thought provoking though, is that very fact that it makes you question your motions and motives for doing so.
The story therefore plays out with the two young teenage boys taking the money and keeping it to themselves. They think they are all in the clear when nothing seems to occur after the next few weeks. There is no motion or notive, no consideration for what could happen or even where the money comes from, that is, until one of them finds the Gun in the bag, and rveals the story to another. Only then do things start to unwind and only then do they begin to wonder and think about the consequences of their actions. Its obvious that the money belongs to someone and its clearly not an innocent formation of money either. It doesnt help matters that there is also a phone in the bag and someone has been trying to get a hold of who has the money. Someone wants the money back, and now the question is, how far will they go to make sure they get it back and all of it. My instant reaction of course is to paint the cliche big heavy hard men, who are master criminals and are not the sort of person that you want to be dealing with. And of course this instantly paints a fear within your system. you start to connect with the main characters, understanding what it is that they are going through, and how they are feeling. A rush of panic runs through your system.
This in many ways is an advantage to the novel as a whole because it means that you go on the journey with the characters and you begin to really connect with them. This very factor makes the books even more strong and thought provoking than anything else because of the way that it entertains the character. It is a very different book though. its basic and simple but its a thought provoking idea and its different its just so different to anything else that I have ever read before. I think its because you can identify with the characters and the fact that the book makes you think and ponder which is what makes it a worthwhile read. I think in general though I am the sort of person who is likely to relate with Joe, the girl who studies hard, tries her best to live a normal and non chaotic life, but someone who gets stuck in all the drama because you don't want to look like a coward in front of your friends.
Yes there is certainly a lot to take in when it comes to this book and I think you have the patience to read something that is not the best written book in the world then you might just get along with it. this is why I am offering the book a three star rating. it may not be the best book in the world, but its the plot that counts and I rather think that the plot is thought provoking enough to achieve the stars that I have given it.