Book Review: Siege by Sarah Mussi


This is a highly political, pulse-pounding, suspenseful, upsetting, I-can’t-sleep-don’t-make-me, YA Thriller. 

Siege is set in a futuristic, right-wing Britain – where austerity measures have segregated society. Now kids from poorer backgrounds can only access the most basic of high schools (known as Challenge Academies) and public facilities. 

Leah Jackson’s mum is depressed, so sixteen-year-old Lee has to look after her brother and her little sister. Somedays there’s nothing in fridge and no way to pay the electric bill and that’s just how life is. Then one Friday morning, Lee is late to school. She’s put in detention, missing assembly… And the shooting starts.

“Dear God, please don’t let them find me.” – 12:04pm

Siege is a gritty, violent and unrelenting tale. (There is blood. So much blood.) The story has substance though, it’s complex and well-plotted – there’s enough characters, action and intrigue here to support a 300 page YA book.

Why are kids shooting other kids? Why are the academy’s students trapped inside, on “Lock Down”, by electrified fences? Where are the police? Who will die next? What will Lee and the other students be willing to do in the coming hours, in order to simply survive? And why does she feel so guilty?

Not recommended for twelve-year-olds. In case you were wondering.