I can’t decide what to do with your ashes. It’s been nearly a year now. Almost summer again.

This is not forgiveness. Don’t think that.

A powerful start. We know Rob is dead. We know there were funerals. We know Rob has done something that cannot be forgiven, not even by those closest to him. The story returns to the start of that summer. Jamie’s interested in a girl, Caro, and doesn’t have much time for his brother who has been discharged from the army following an injury in Afghanistan. Everyone knows Caro is a slag, expelled for an affair with a teacher, she spells trouble. Jamie’s sister warns him off but he doesn’t care, he’s infatuated.

This is Not Forgiveness tackles the topical issue of how war can affect young people in two very different ways. For some the army is all they know and when injury forces young soldiers to return home they can struggle to fit into civilian life. Especially if they signed up to escape a life that didn’t hold much for them in the first place.

Then those that haven’t had direct contact with conflict can feel like they don’t have a voice without violence. How easy it is to latch onto extremist political views because what they see and hear is wrong and they feel the need to bring about change.

This isn’t a book where you’ll love the characters but you will be gripped by the events and left thinking after the final page. The first chapter is a fantastic pull in and will keep you reading even when you are starting to hate some of the things the characters are doing. There are three narrators, Jamie, Caro and Rob so there is insight into each of their thoughts and reasoning behind their actions.

I received This is Not Forgiveness as part of a UK Book Tour so keep your eyes out for other reviews across the blogosphere. Feel free to leave a link to your review in the comments. It will be released in paperback and ebook formats 2nd February 2012 and is published by Bloomsbury.

You can read chapter one here but only if you can wait to read the rest!