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BOG CHILD

In Siobhan Dowd's Bog Child, Fergus McCann has school drama, family drama, girl drama -- and OH YEAH found-a-corpse-in-a-bog drama.

BOG CHILD

BOOK REPORT for Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd

BFF Charm: Yay!
Swoonworthy Scale: 7
Talky Talk: The Real Deal, Boy-O
Bonus Factor: Second Sight
Relationship Status: High School Steady

The Deal: It's 1981 on the border of Northern Ireland and the Republic, at the height of the Troubles, and 18-year-old Fergus McCann discovers the body of a young girl in the bog while digging peat with his uncle. All Fergus wants is to get three Bs on his a-level exams so he can escape the partisan strife and become a doctor, but instead of studying he has to worry about his brother, who has joined a hunger strike while in prison; his mother; the weird dreams he has about the murdered girl in the bog; and the searingly hot daughter of the anthropologist working on the bog child. Oh, and being asked to courier mysterious packages back and forth across the border for his brother's Provo friend, when what he really wants to do is just stay out of the Troubles and make friends with the young Welsh dude who mans the lonely border guard station on the bog.

BFF Charm: Yay!

Fergus is a real sweet guy, and easy to sympathize with. Who hasn't had crappy friends who take advantage, or been caught between doing the right thing -- for yourself AND others -- and doing what pushy people want? Also, there are some wicked twists in this book, and Fergus def. should have a friend to share a pint or two with afterwards.

Swoonworthy Scale: 7

The chemistry between Fergus and Cora is immediate, and when she and her mother stay in the McCann's spare room (his mom runs a B&B at times), watch out! Dude, there's NO WAY my parents would have let a hot guy sleep in the room next to mine when there was such obvious chemistry, and there's a REASON for that -- which Fergus and Cora definitely demonstrate. HEL-LO.

Talky Talk: The Real Deal, Boy-O

This book is way serious (duh -- you can't be all cavalier about the IRA and hunger strikes and Republican troubles and friends dying and brothers dying and parents fighting and weird second sight dreams about 2000-year-old murdered girls). Also, it was written in Ireland by an Irish person, so the vocab is all, like, Irish and stuff. But it's not explained every 5 seconds, and I like that -- I hated how the Harry Potter books were "translated" into American English. like we're all a bunch of dummies who never watch BBC America or something. Anyway, I think Dowd does a great job capturing the seriousness of the times and Fergus's personal troubles, plus it's cool that the big stuff in the book -- like the hunger strike -- is based on true events.

Bonus Factor: Second Sight

Fergus's dreams tell the story of what happened to the girl in the bog. It's a little unbelievable, especially in such a starkly realistic novel, but it's a cool way to tell the parts of the girl's story anthropologists wouldn't be able to.

Casting Call:

Paul Ronan as Fergus McCann

Maybe he's a bit old, but he has that rough Irish charm that suits Fergus.

Relationship Status: High School Steady

This book was well-written, interesting and solid. It's not something I could hang onto after heading off to college and being caught up in new, exciting, worldly books, but definitely something I'll remember fondly.

Meghan Miller's photo About the Author: Meghan is an erstwhile librarian in exile from Texas and writer for Forever Young Adult. She loves books, cooking and homey things like knitting and vintage cocktails. Although she’s around books all the time, she doesn’t get to read as much as she’d like.