Review: No Going Back by Alex Gutteridge

No Going Back by Alex Gutteridge is a book about adjusting to the new and to the old- its a story of growing up, dying properly and dealing with mild parental stalking from beyond the grave.

Laura’s father died in a car accident 10 years ago and though she has grown into a self-reliant, 14-year-old Londoner, she has always had the feeling that something is holding her back from becoming the person she was always meant to be. Laura shares a wonderful closeness with her mother, but their relationship is tested when family ties force them to move away from the city – and the carefully-tended grave of her father- to the countryside to look after her grandmother.  Laura bids farewell to London in a rage, but once she arrives in rural Derbyshire, she discovers the ghost of her father waiting for her in her grandmother’s house. This time he vows, he’s never going to leave her alone…

“because your dad following you around everywhere would be disconcerting even if he wasn’t dead”


no going backLovely Bones meets Vicky Angel for a new generation in this funny and moving coming-of-age story that explores loss, displacement and family rifts gracefully and with a light heart. The protagonist of No Going Back is a sweet character with a believable voice who guides the plot through the wacky physics of haunting to the melodrama of family secrets uncovered. Impressively, Laura takes a great deal in her stride (because your dad following you around everywhere would be disconcerting even if he wasn’t dead), but when she stumbles, the reader falls with her.

The writing effortlessly combines complex emotional dialogue with young movements and manners.


A light-hearded story  capable of scaring the reader under the covers or summoning tears, No Going Back is a magical and haunting read.

No Going Back will be published by Templar on the 1st of July 2014

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