by Philip Barker
October 30 – November 02
YA, 386 pages.
Ashley Davies takes her first steps out of Abbeydale into the competition that will determine the rest of her life.
In the highly demanded sequel to 2021’s ‘Climb’, the stakes are raised and with it Ashley Davies begins to realise that sometimes following your dream can cost more than you ever thought you could give.
Philip Barker’s explosive sequel takes the trilogy to new, heartbreaking heights as Ashley discovers what it really means to call yourself a champion.
This is more than a coming-of-age story. It’s an overcoming story. A story of healing and growth. A contemporary, action-packed story that doesn’t stutter or stall. It’s a story of first loves and finding oneself amid the chaos of the world. In one word Climb is satisfying, and I recommend it to readers young and old. I give it 5 stars and look forward to the sequel.
Donna Sundblad about the first book in the series, Climb.
About the author
Young adult literary fiction author Philip Barker believes it is important to do something every day that scares you, even if it’s only a little bit; it means you are pushing yourself to experience new things. Through his writing, he aspires to provide his young readers a different perspective, to put emotions into words so that they can hopefully feel a way that they normally wouldn’t, or even wouldn’t want to.
Philip realized in high school that he wanted to be a writer when he discovered that books have the capacity to make him think outside of the established way that was taught to him growing up in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia. He likes to ground his stories in reality and relate them to personal experiences. It is his opinion that life itself is amazing and story-worthy, and there are so many interesting people in the world, all things that he can harvest great writing from.
Philip believes a great story is one that has relatable and interesting characters. Everyone lives interesting lives, and getting to know people is the fun part, even with fictional characters. Having them leave their comfort zones becomes fascinating and often hilarious. To Philip, everyone has a story to tell, and he hopes his young readers learn from his own story that life is complicated and things occur that can often be out of their control. But how they overcome obstacles is what’s important and committing oneself to something with a goal and purpose, like rock climbing, can help ground you.
When he isn’t writing thought-provoking fiction stories for young adults, Philip enjoys rock climbing, gardening, and watching B Grade movies. His wife, siblings, mother, and father-in-law provided the positive support and courage for his book and in his life. He lives in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, NSW, Australia with his wife, two dachshunds, Alfie and George, and a rabbit named Abby. Climb is his debut novel.
Author: Philip Barker
Release Date: September 24th, 2021
Page Count: 246
Start Date: October 12th, 2022
Finish Date: October 21st, 2022
Story: This story follows a girl that really loves climbing. She gets in trouble because she decides to engage in a dangerous competition with somebody. It does get her into a team where she can compete legitimately and less dangerously. She’s afraid to tell her mother because she’s afraid her mother won’t allow her to do it.
Characters: This is a middle-grade book. A coming of age story if you will. All the characters in this book are written from a younger point of view. I really found it very refreshing compared to books I normally read.
Critiques: See narration.
Narration: This book is narrated by the author. It’s a decent narration. It just sounds a bit canned. There are also some places that I think that the edits weren’t fully removed from the audiobook. Again, I don’t think it’s horrible. It’s decent. It could use another editing run through though.
Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book very much. The girl followed her passions. She worked hard to get where she wanted to be. She accepted responsibility when she was in the wrong. It was also very realistic. I loved the representation in this book.