Riley Bannon, The Em Vee Hi Editor in Chief
In her first book since the conclusion of the widely popular Harry Potter series, JK Rowling tackles controversial issues and breaks away from her adolescent association, while proving something her fans have known along; the magic is in the words.
The Casual Vacancy follows the small English town of Pagford, and the scandalous drama that ensues after a city councilman dies, and the race for his coveted seat begins.
Told from the point of view of numerous community members, it’s shockingly different from what one would expect from the teen wizard author. It covers drugs, alcohol, abuse, classism, lust, greed, power, jealousy, and sex, often times involving the teenage group of Pagfordians. With Rowling’s expert narrative, she takes what one would expect to be a boring topic, and weaves an intricate web of deceit that spans generation, gender, and race.
Daring, dramatic, and captivating, The Casual Vacancy is a page turner that doesn’t disappoint. It’s at times dark and racy, and is indisputably for a more mature audience. At the time of its release, there were many complaints of it being too much for the first book after a tween empire. However, it’s certainly not Fifty Shades of Grey.
The focus should be on Rowling’s way of crafting three-dimensional characters and a plot that draws a reader in, and makes them care. Only she could create empathy for a tough, troubled teen from a broken home with violence and drug problems, or create interest for a plain, boring housewife and counselor with a big secret. It’s the way with words that have made Rowling a best-selling author, and the words of Vacancy that will keep her there for years to come.
Editor's Note: These articles are written by Mount Vernon High School student reporters for The Em Vee Hi, the school newspaper. These articles are running on Mount Vernon Patch as part of a partnership between Mount Vernon Patch and the journalism class at MVHS.