Amanzimtoti 2: Inyoni Rocks by Carmen Shea-Hepburn

After a bleak winter break alternately spent between the snowy mountaintops of the Drakensberg and a self-imposed exile upon his return to Amanzimtoti, Wayne du Preez finds himself commencing his third term at Toti High with something akin to dread as the tangled web of secrets and lies he’s been spinning since the start of matric steadily begin to unravel.

With Kyle still circling him, and Jessica demanding answers, it’s finally left to Travis to offer his best friend an ultimatum that will set the course for the rest of the school year, and indeed, the rest of their lives:

“You tell her. Everything. You tell her now, or I will.”

Last year, I had reviewed Amanzimtoti 1: The Ridge. Where I thought the first book was a huge tsunami, I did not expect Inyoni Rocks to crash down upon me like it did.

I had been waiting for the sequel since the day I finished reading the Ridge, and when Ms. Hepburn emailed me, I was so, so excited. My exams were about to start the next week but I read it anyway because, come on. I waited a year. I couldn’t wait any longer, now that the book was already in my inbox. I know this series is 4-parts and I shouldn’t have expected anything pleasant, but dammit if I wanted Wayne to be happy for once.

But for his happiness, I guess we’ll have to claw our way through the next books and see if Wayne gets at least a part of the happiness that he deserves.

Coming to the book itself, it deals with so many important issues in an adolescent’s life. Losing friends, loved ones, having a shattered family, the ongoing turmoil in their heads: these are just some of the things that are going through Wayne’s head throughout the book. It is painful to just sit and read and not be able to do anything. I just wanted to squeeze him in a tight hug until all the bad things were shooed away.

It ended in a sort of a cliff-hanger, definitely leaving us to want more.

The writing is top-notch as usual, and I can’t wait for the third part. I really want to know where this is going because I need to be prepared just in case my heart is not ready to take anymore pain.

Well, time to encase my heart in a strong, impenetrable diamond-like cube.

Rating: 4.5

Recommendation: To all those who have read The Ridge, of course, and to all those who think problems during the teenage years are “just a phase”.


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