Life: An Exploded Diagram is the latest novel from multiple award-winning author Mal Peet, who won the Carnegie Medal for Tamar and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize for Exposure. The book is a coming-of-age love story, set in Norfolk in the 1960s against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis. It has already received great acclaim from Patrick Ness and Anthony McGowan, and Walker have created a book trailer which is revealed exclusively here on Wondrous Reads today!
I'm really excited to be revealing this: I love all of Walker's trailers (Remember the one for The Sky Is Everywhere? *sniffle*), and this is no exception. They're like mini movies! This is also the start of a blog tour, so you can read an extract here, and you'll be able to find another extract over at So Many Books, So Little Time on Saturday May 28th.
Let me know what you think of the trailer in the comments, or tweet Walker Books at @WalkerBooksUK.
In less than an hour Clem and Goz had filled their twelve punnets. Forty-eight pounds of fruit. Goz straightened up, wiping his face on his sleeve. Gold straw-dust glittered on the damp hairs of his forearm.
“Are we done?”
“Yup, reckon so. Look at this un.”
Clem held up his pick of the day: a big, glossy, flawlessly scarlet berry. It was too good to eat.
“Boo’iful,” Goz said. “The size of a dog’s heart.”
They headed up towards the head of the field.
“Not if it was a Pekinese,” Clem said.
“Nor a Jack Russell. I was thinking more like a Labrador.”
“Speak for yerself,” Goz said.
They shuffled forward in the queue, pushing their punnets with their feet. The weighed strawberries were being loaded onto a trailer. One of the loaders was a girl neither of them had seen before. She had very dark hair that swung against her face and neck as she moved. She wore an old bluechecked shirt that was too big for her – a man’s shirt – its tails bunched into a knot at her waist. When she stooped to lift, you could see down into it, where white crescents could be glimpsed. Her jeans stopped at the calves of her slender legs. They were unlike the slack, cheap denims that the boys wore; they fitted her. Clem could not help noticing the seam that curved down from her waistline and vanished under her bum. She was not used to the work. Her mouth
was set in a pout and she seemed to have some invisible barrier surrounding her, defying contact.
A rough male voice awoke him.
“Oi! D’yer want them strorbries weighed, or what?”
Clem dragged his gaze away from the girl.
“Sorry,” he said, and stacked his load onto the scales.
He stood aside while Goz collected the tickets.
“What d’yer reckon? Do another six?”
“Yeah,” Clem said. “Might as well. I’ll get em.”
He went to the pile of emptied punnets. He was closer to the girl now. He watched her lift filled ones; his own were on top. She carried them to the trailer, hoisted them up, then paused, reaching out. When she turned round, she was holding a perfect strawberry delicately in her fingertips. It was Clem’s dog’s heart. She turned it, examining it. She raised it towards her mouth.
“You aren’t gorna eat that, are yer?”
He was more surprised that he’d spoken than she seemed to be.
Her face was too small. No, it wasn’t that. It was that her eyes were so big. And dark, but full of light under rather heavy black eyebrows. Her mouth was wide. Below the full lips her chin was a soft little triangle. She looked Spanish, Clem thought, not really knowing what that meant; perhaps that he’d seen her in a painting projected onto Jiffy’s wall.
He had to say something. “You’ll get told off.”
She stared at him without expression. Or maybe a smile refusing to be seen.
“I really don’t think so,” she said. A posh voice. Mocking him?
Clem glanced to his left. The foreman was walking in their direction, his face red and slick with sweat beneath his flat cap.
“Clem,” Goz said. A warning. But Clem couldn’t stop looking at the girl. She put the strawberry into her mouth, its plump tip first, and bit it in half. She closed her huge eyes.
“Mmmn. God!” Mumbling it.
A thin rivulet of juice ran from the left corner of her mouth onto her chin. She turned her head and wiped it away on the shoulder of her shirt. She looked at Clem, swallowing.
“You think you’ve got sick of them, but every now and again you get one that’s too luscious to resist, don’t you?”
It seemed to Clem that the world had gone entirely dark for an instant, but he hadn’t blinked.
“Yrrng,” he said, then cleared his throat. “Yeah. I picked that one.”
“Thank you,” she said, apparently seriously.
The foreman came alongside the trailer. He glowered at Clem, then saw the girl. He touched the greasy peak of his cap with two fingers.
“Orright, Miss Mortimer? The work suit you, do ut?”
She waved the remainder of the strawberry at him: a gesture that might have meant anything. The coral-pink flesh of the fruit was neatly grooved by her teeth.
Thanks to Walker for this and don't forget to read the second extract on So Many Books, So Little Time tomorrow!