Dan Freedman

David Fickling Books

ISBN 9781788450492

Secrets and lies . . . secrets and lies . . . Fourteen-year-old twins, Kaine and Roxy, used to be close, but now they can hardly bear to be in the same room. Roxy hates the way her brother behaves - Kaine might be brilliant at football but he's always in trouble and cares nothing about his family. And Kaine despises the way his supposedly-perfect sister, dominates their parents in her ambition to reach Wimbledon. But the twins are both hiding dangerous secrets of their own, secrets that could destroy everything they are working towards - and both Roxy and Kaine's survival hangs precariously in the balance. Gripping, twisting, and real, this book is UNSTOPPABLE.

Librarian's Book choice




Dan Freedman


Unstoppable is an emotive and very powerful story that needs to have pride of place in every school library. 14-year-old twins Roxy and Kaine used to be very close to each other, but due to their family situation they now seem to have only one thing in common... They hate each other.

Kaine is great at football, one of his teachers believes that he could have a future in sport, but will his attitude and lack of respect for adults get in the way? He thinks that his sister Roxy has it all; she's great at tennis and also seems to be heading towards a great future, but most importantly she has the attention of their mom and dad, especially their dad. Kaine doesn't trust him anymore; dad drinks a lot and has started to act threatening towards his mom. He's never once said he's proud of Kaine, he only has time for Roxy.

However, Roxy is really under a great amount of stress. Due to her tough training regime, she hasn't got time for friends or a boyfriend and often gets bullied at school. The boy she likes, AJ, is also her brother's best friend and so Kaine takes great pleasure in putting her down at every possible opportunity. He never used to be like this, why now? What has happened to them? Her dad is also her trainer and since he lost his job, he constantly keeps pushing her, he never gives her a moment's rest. Roxy is beginning to hate the sport that she really loves.

Due to a catalogue of misunderstandings and unfortunate circumstances, Kaine gets caught up with one of the local gangs and begins to carry a knife. What is this boy doing with his future? Is he determined to mess it all up? Then, when a tragedy strikes the family, everything is torn apart. Who, if anyone, is to blame? Will the twins ever be able to work things out?

Unstoppable contains 310 pages that would be suitable for the confident/reluctant reader of 11+. It would also be great for a classroom read for this age group as it has so many discussion and learning points that are relevant in the world today. The book would also be useful for PSHE due to content of gang culture, knife crime, abuse, bullying and family issues.

However, as much as I like the the story and the powerful messages it contains, the ending almost feels like a fairytale as everything is neatly wrapped up. I just feel that life is not like that. There are going to be disappointments, and it's how we cope with them that defines us. I would also have liked to have seen some useful names and contact numbers at the back of the book for advice for readers who have been affected by what they have read.

That aside, I agree with this quote regarding the story - 'An excellent read that deals with the subject of knife crime in a sensitive and realistic manner'.

310 Pages / Ages 11+ / Reviewed by Linda Brown, school librarian

Reviewed by: Linda Brown