To accompany the series of Class, we’ve also been given three tie-in novels, Joyride by Guy Adams, What She Does Next Will Astound You by James Goss and The Stone House by A.K. Benedict. Are these tie-in books as strong as the show itself? There’s only one way to find out…
“So, you can just leap into other peoples bodies? Take them over? And while you’re in control, you can do whatever you want? Brilliant.”
Poppy is a quiet girl, right up until she steals a car and drives it through a shop window.
Max is a nice guy, but then he kills his whole family. Just for fun.
Amar always seems so happy, so why is he trying to jump to his death from the school roof?
Some of the students of Coal Hill School are not themselves. Some of them are dying. Ram has just woken up in a body he doesn’t recognise, and if he doesn’t figure out why he may well be next.
It’s very rare that I have the time to read for pleasure, which is an absolute shame, because I adore reading. It seems as if all I do is read to review the book at the moment, and, whilst I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given to review these Doctor Who and Class related books, knowing you have to write at length about your experience of reading adds a pressure to the way you read.
That is not the case with Joyride at all. But I think I know why.
If you don’t already know, Guy Adams and myself are actually friends (my words, not his, I dread to think what he’d call me) and we just seem to get one another. Some might call us kindred spirits, but he’d laugh at them. Whilst reading Joyride, I had flashbacks to moments I’ve shared with Guy, especially during our rather odd and often jokingly insulting Twitter conversations we have. I must admit that this is the first time I’ve actually read any of Guy’s work (I’ve previously only heard his audio offerings through Big Finish) and I’ve realised something; he and I write extremely similarly. He adds humour in the darkest places, he focusses on characters more than establishing the setting, almost freeing up the reader to have more interpretation of what goes on in their minds eye. He uses brackets perfectly (although, I would say that, as a lover of putting little extra details in between these bad boys).
Of course, statically, you’re not actually me. So how is the book to the every-person? Well, I have to say, I think it’s brilliant. I haven’t read either What She Does Next Will Astound You or The Stone House yet, but if those two books are on par with Joyride, I’ll be exceptionally happy. The premise of Joyride is simple, people are being taken over and controlled by an unknown force; it’s not the newest idea in the world; being possessed by someone or something else and being unable to stay in control.
What Guy manages to do in Joyride though, is use the idea to put the characters of Class that we’re still really getting to know, and force them into situations that, even with semi-regular alien threats, they’d never find themselves in. I know I’m being vague, but I don’t want to ruin the story for you if you’ve not read it. Considering that these books were written way before Class aired on BBC Three, and only having scripts to go on, I have to say that Guy’s interpretation of the main cast hits the nail on the head. The dynamic that really interested me in this novel was between Charlie and Matteusz, as Guy really focusses in on their relationship and Mattesuz trying to both understand and almost humanise Charlie the best he can. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
Other moments that are brilliant are April being drunk (and I mean very drunk) and a short quote from Page 5 that I think perfectly sums up Guy Adams’ writing style and sense of humour.
The second to last thing that goes through his head is ‘Why does today hate me so much?’ The last thing to go through his head is a piece of scaffolding.
Whereas on the televised episodes of Class, we’ve mainly seen the darker side of what Class has to offer, I think that Guy really manages to get the pacing and the humour spot on for my taste. I am aware though that my sense of humour is strange, and I laugh at some really weird stuff, so I don’t know if Guy has catered to an extremely niche niche.
It goes without saying that reading a book takes up more of your time and takes way more concentration and effort as opposed to watching a show or listening to an audio; and it’s way more time consuming. What I have to admit with Joyride is that it was the first book I read in two sittings in a long time. (The only reason I took a break was because I had to go somewhere.) Reading Joyride was a joy, and Guy Adams has now proven to me in a second medium, that he’s an absolutely terrific writer.
Joyride is available from all good bookshops and online now with an RRP of £7.99!