Open Book


Here are some reviews of Mo. If you have read it, please comment on the book.

A thought provoking novel that on the surface is about a young child struggling with conflicting dilemmas, but actually far more modern day issues are explored. Well worth a read. Mark Rogers

I've not read a story like this. Purchased it on a whim as I was looking for a book about extremism, and I was soon hooked by the mysterious storyline. I won't give anything away, but I love the idea about the final chapter. Definitely recommend! D.C.

A fascinating and very thought provoking read that will keep you on your toes to the very end. This is a story that twists and turns, whilst at the same time takes you deep into the ever changing world inhabited by Mo. At times this feels like a deeply personal insight into the mind of a curiously fascinating new writer. I look forward to reading more! John Gay

I don't get a lot of time to read many books these days but was on the lookout for something short to read on holiday. One of my friends at the horticultural society recommended this and as it was reasonably priced I gave it a go. After a few Long Island Iced Teas by the pool I found that it was 3am and I'd finished it in one sitting... Not a criticism of the length of the story, but a compliment on the writing!
Come the end of the holiday and surprise surprise my plane was delayed by 4 hours so I thought I'd give it another read through and it certainly stood up to the second reading, which you can't say about all books. Tech Fan

This story drew me in within a few pages. S Pearce has captured some of the tensions in a Muslim family really well. Although this isn't a comedy, I found myself laughing out loud on my sofa a couple of times. I just wish I could find out something about the author, as I want to read more! Wadoud

“MO,” a debut novel, yet a highly polished gem of a book generally aimed at the young adult market but making damned good reading for any adult. “Mo” is fast, smooth and extremely well written in good Standard English that grabs the reader, generates tension; triggers emotional response, almost from the word go. Above all else “Mo” takes a sharp eyed look at the divide in U.K society which, it seems to me, the majority of us either protest does not exist or generally ignore.
Mo, aka Mohammad Adil Dhillon, a British lad of Asian ethnicity, newly entered into Comprehensive High School and under pressure from his Dad to sit the Eleven Plus examination in the hope of winning a place at the local elitist Grammar. Mo is not at all sure that he wants to take the exam but in no time at all that becomes the least of his problems.
Catapulted out of the sheltered world of infancy into the raw – sometimes brutal – environment of new adolescence, Mo finds himself abandoned by cherished childhood friends and subjected to racial insults, bullying and general torment. Confusion and anger follow, compounded by an inability to confide in either parents or teachers which, alas, generates misunderstandings and so more anger still.
Mo staggers from crisis to crisis through which the reader screams for comprehension from Dad, from Mum, from teachers, from society as a whole. But this is not forthcoming and there is the local Jihadist Faction, calling, beckoning to Mo; drawing him into its web. Is the attempt at radicalisation successful? That I cannot reveal: spoilers are not my scene. But I will say that at the end, which comes abruptly, Mo, with the reader, is left standing at the edge of a precipice, staring into the void.
“MO” by S. Pearce. It will grab you from the word go and drop you off at the edge of a void.
D. A. Barker (author of “Killing for Christmas” & “What Am I?”)

A book that follows the trials and tribulations of a young lad growing up, some of which are familiar to us and others that, thankfully, may not be. At times I found myself reading and turning the pages very quickly, not only to find out what was going to happen next but also because I was genuinely concerned for Mo! It's a good book with great writing that draws you in. Well done Simon - a great read. S Bassett

Fantastic debut novel! I couldn't put the book down! Exciting, intriguing and at times touching, this is a great read. Get down to the bookies and put a tenner on this writer winning the Booker Prize one day. Can't wait to read S Pearce's next novel. Stressed Mum

Is it really his first piece of published writing? Impressive indeed! The storyline soon has you emotionally involved with, not only the underlining theme of the book, but also the individual characters as they play out their individual roles. The authors insight into the cultural heritage and history ( very likely from personal experience ) of his subject, shows insight and depth of feeling. The storyline draws out your own personal feelings towards other diversified traditions and cultures, inherit in most European countries today. Credit to the author for his literary skills in the way he deploys and then slowly, gently introduces aspects of life that we have no doubt all faced at some time. A book that will have you cancel all your pre-arranged plans in order to find out how the storyline concludes. Savvas Savva

Mo is having a hard time at home and at school, when he meets the Mothman. Thus begins an exciting read that deftly plays with our expectations. Again and again, the story moves in surprising, yet absolutely convincing ways. Soon Mo faces temptations both on the Internet and in the real world, and the choices he makes are explored with great empathy. All this, plus an unusual blend of powerful images, makes “Mo” a book I won’t forget any time soon. Nadyn M

Not what I expected, and wonderfully so. The pull between those giving Mo praise, support and validation, and those telling him he is not wanted, not good enough, or despised, is tangible and real. The secrets he hides from his parents, in the wish to be accepted and empowered, is most believable and well told, as is his understanding of Islam and what it means to different people. The factors pulling him towards violence are strong, but those inviting him to learn, and be kind, are just as apparent. Well written. Not a story that is being told often enough, but should be. To top it off, there is a surprising, yet unsurprising, open-ended ending. Gabriel Constans

'Mo' is a great read from start to finish. In the opening chapter we are introduced to Mo and a mysterious old man, who both become central characters as the story unfolds. We soon learn about Mo's relationships with his family and school friends, his worries about impending exams, and his pre-occupation with a gaming app. The story gathers pace as Mo unwittingly interacts online with a sinister character, and the tension builds as we see a boy torn between his caring family, a blossoming new friendship, and a menacing online influence.´This is a thought provoking book, which sensitively examines prevailing issues such as online radicalisation, bullying at school, and the pressures felt by children to be high achievers in the today's fast moving world. An excellent debut novel from author S Pearce. R Lurch