'Tape' by Steven Camden - Review

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Hello Lovelies,

So recently I was sent the book 'TAPE' to read and today I am going to review for you!

This is Steven Camden's first novel and I am pleased to say that it certainly delivered. 

'In 1993, Ryan records a diary on an old tape. He talks about his mother’s death, about his
dreams, about his love for a new girl at school who doesn’t even know he exists. In 2013, Ameliah moves in with her grandmother after her parents die. There, she finds a tape in the spare room. A tape with a boy’s voice on it – a voice she can’t quite hear, but which seems to be speaking to her. Ryan and Ameliah are connected by more than just a tape. This is their story'

'TAPE is set to be the outstanding teen debut of 2014. It’s a beautifully written story that will leave you breathless. Told with cracking prose, shimmering with humour and devastatingly moving, it will haunt anyone who reads it.'

When I first heard about the novel, I thought that this would be just another 'Perks of Being A Wallflower' type novel; initially this left me quite sceptical of how original this story would feel. However, I was definitely drawn to it by the synopsis and once I got into the novel, I realised that this was a very unique story and it is very cleverly written. This book is nothing like I have read before. I was really impressed by this story! It is extremely heart-warming which deals with many different issues such as grief, love and friendship in a sensitive but thought-provoking way. The ending is also a very interesting one that I loved!

The only criticism I have for this book is The constant changing between past and present without notice is quite confusing and distracting, especially the amount of times it's changed each chapter; this made it quite difficult to keep up with both character's stories, even though the idea of characters in different times with connected stories is a clever one. I did find it quite hard to connect with the character 'Ameliah'; much harder than to connect with 'Ryan'. Possibly because of the way both characters were presented and I was much more sympathetic towards Ryan and found myself warming to his story more, but that's just my opinion :-)

Overall I would definitely recommend this book. This is a confidently written debut novel and it doesn't fail to deliver. There is a lovely nostalgic feel with Ryan's story and reminds us of a time before we were constantly reliant on phones, computers and the internet and this story really made me want to go back that time where everything seemed so much simpler.  I really enjoyed it and I'm sure you will to!

Steven Camden is a leading spoken word poet, performing as 'Polarbear'. He also writes radio plays, teaches storytelling in schools, and was a lead artist for The Ministry of Stories. 

You can find out more about Steven at www.bearheart.org.uk or follow him on twitter at @homeofpolar.

Here is a quick introduction to 'TAPE' from Steven Camden


  1. I was looking for a new book to read and I think I'll give it a chance. Thanks for the recommendation! :)


    1. that's okay! tell me what you think of it after you've read it :-)x

  2. This sounds like a fabulous read, I'll have to put it on my never ending to-be-read list!

    Jennie xo | sailorjennie.com

    1. I really enjoyed it! It's slightly confusing in parts but overall I thought it was really good:-)

      Charlotte x


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