Book Club: Quicksand

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Author: Malin Persson Giolito
ISBN: 978-1-4711-6509-2
RRP: $29.99

The front cover claims that Quicksand is the Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year and whether that’s verifiable or an opinion it’s a pretty big claim.

It seems that not a month goes by without news of an attack at a school. There are shootings, mass shoortings, sieges, knife attacks and the list goes on. I don’t remember this being an issue when I was at school but in today’s society it is far too common.

This is a book with an intriguing premise that I look forward to reading, except that June flew past way too fast and I ran out of reading hours. Quicksand will now sit quietly on my shelf waiting for a quick break so I can pick it back up.

In the meantime, sit back and read a little about the book then check out what our readers thought in the comments below.

Quicksand is part courtroom thriller and part drama as eighteen year old Maja Norberg stands trial for her involvement in a mass shooting at a prep school in Stockholm’s wealthiest suburb.

The novel opens as the trial begins and Maja has already spent nine months behind bars awaiting trial.

Maja was a popular girl who excelled at school so how did she end up in prison awaiting trial for a school massacre? Are there two sides to Maja that shift quietly like quicksand… and which one do you believe?

Quicksand is a perceptive portrayal of a young woman which also examines a crumbling society. A story looking at class, money, emigration and the games we play when parents no longer understand the struggles of their children.

I am really looking forward to delving into the mind of an obviously troubled teen to understand how Maja has gone from what seems to be the model daughter to involved in a mass shooting that leaves her best friend and boyfriend dead.

Quicksand is published by Simon & Schuster and is available now through Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster 20 of our Beauty and Lace club members will be reading Quicksand so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments.

17 thoughts on “Book Club: Quicksand

  1. Quicksand is apparently the Swedish Crime Novel of the year and it may be true.
    The story of Quicksand follows the court case of 18 year old Maja who is being trialled for her involvement in a mass shooting that her boyfriend and friends were killed in.
    I found it an interesting read as mass shootings always have me wondering how they happened in the first place. This book didn’t disappoint me although at times I felt the pace could have picked up a little better. You really get left hanging to the last minute too, which makes you get sucked into the story waiting to find out the ending.
    Overall a good option for fans of crime novels.

  2. Quicksand by Malin Persson Giolito is a Swedish courtroom drama, narrated by Maja Norberg an 18 year old girl charged with the murder of her classmates, friend and boyfriend. Maja has enjoyed a privileged upbringing, in an upper-class area with her parents and younger sister. Who are pleased when she develops a relationship with Sebastian Fegerman, the son of Sweden’s richest man Claes Fegerman. Sebastian is the golden boy of the school, thanks to his father’s status. Maja is excited by the prospects this new relationship will bring, however as the relationship develops problems arise, adolescent emotions intensify accompanied by drugs, alcohol, sex and parties. But how does this all lead to a school shooting?
    The novel alternates between the court room and Maja’s flashbacks, revealing the events that led up to the fatal shooting. The beginning of the story was a little hard for me to connect to, however Giolito expresses Maja’s feelings well, she was a disjointed adolescent, angry and bitter at her situation and the lawyers around her. Once the court room scene was established the novel, dove into Maja’s relationship with Sebastian, her first true love. Sebastian was troubled from the beginning, a young man with too much money and no love or direction from his parents. Maja’s memories throughout the book bring up many other issues, including discrimination, drugs, racism and how money cannot replace a parent’s love. Maja becomes more comfortable in jail as it protects her from the media’s judgment, but she misses her family particularly her younger sister. Although slightly drawn out at times, Quicksand by Malin Persson Giolito is an enjoyable court room novel, which clearly demonstrates money cannot buy happiness

  3. Quicksand was for me something totally different. It takes us through the court case with flashbacks as we try to understand what happened in a classroom where several people were shot and killed and now Maja is on trial and accused of murder. We learn about Maja and how she became involved with Sebastian who tends to only attend school when it suits him and as his Father is mega rich Sebastian lives the high life and when Maja becomes his girlfriend she gets to enjoy the perks of the rich as well. Maja also learns that just because you have money it does not mean your life is perfect and without heartache and it certainly doesnt mean you have love in your life.

    I really enjoyed reading this book. It take you on a journey but its not one that you should read if want something up lifting as its certainly not that but it does show how the choices we make in life have implications and sometimes not for the positive. For me this was a book that made me think. It shows how easily someones life can turn down the wrong track thats leading to disaster.

  4. Quicksand by Malin Persson Giolito for me was just that – Quicksand. It was the hardest book I have read for a long time. Did I persevere hoping it would get better? Yes, I did. Somehow between the short on the back of the book and the first chapter I got lost…..very lost. If I had seen this book in the stores I would have bought it and the reason being that the back of the book and the first chapter, albeit only one page were HUGE drawcards BUT this is the slowest, less meaningful book I have read in a REALLY long time.
    The story is of six people, 5 of whom attend the same school and their teacher – Christer. Dennis, who appears to be the local go to for drugs; Samir, the smart one; Amanda, the bubbly cheerleader type; Sebastian, the rich one who has had to repeat his final year of schooling and Maja, Sebastian’s girlfriend. The book centres around Maja and her trial for the killing of her best friend Amanda and boyfriend Sebastian and Sebastian’s killing of two of those listed above. One survives along with Maja, but this is not revealed until nearly the end of the book.
    The relationship between Sebastian and his father, Claes appears to be volatile and there is not a lot of love lost between them. Sebastian starts dating Maja in the holidays leading up to the new school year – why? Who knows, as Sebastian has never appeared to interact with Maja or her friends previously. Sebastian does start to take drugs – provided by Dennis, has he previously taken drugs? I could not make out if this was new or if he had dabbled beforehand. Samir has a crush on Maja but has never acted anything but a friend towards her until jealousy sets in and as Sebastian’s drug habit and behaviour becomes worse he acts on his crush and seduces Maja, not to take her away from Sebastian but more like ‘take that’ leaving Maja a little bewildered.
    For me, after finishing this book there are a lot of unanswered questions. Malin Persson Giolito has written three previous books obviously giving her a massive fan base as Quicksand alone has sold in 24 countries. Would I read another of her novels? Probably not, or maybe I would and see if this is her style and I just do not enjoy that style.
    I am a MASSIVE fan of crime and thriller novels but somewhere this one totally lost me.

  5. 18-year-old Maja is on trial for murdering her teacher and classmates, including her best friend and her boyfriend 9 months earlier. Written through Maja’s perspective, we read about the trial, and the lead up to the event.

    This book was very hard to put down! The writing style really gripped me. It was easy to go from the past to the present and vice versa. I felt that I was seeing things through Maja’s eyes, rather than being an outside observer.

    There are a couple of times in the book where Maja directly addresses the reader – “And what about all of you? What do you think?” (p. 333). It was quite intriguing to come across that in the book – it made me take a mental step back and think about what I had read, and what I thought had happened and would happen. It’s not very often that I come across books that directly communicate to the reader.

    When the book was focused on one period of time, there was plenty of detail. It wasn’t just a few pages, and then changed. It allowed for a lot of detail in both the past and the present, and really allowed me to connect with the story.

    This book is the kind of book that I would only read once, and every time I see it around, it would immediately remind of me of what happened. I would recommend it only to people who are into the darker side of life – drinking, drugs, mental illness and murder.

  6. Wow.. definitely a book I would have never of chosen for myself, but I loved it!

    School shootings are becoming all to
    Familiar in the news of late, so reading this novel sure does rock the boat a little.

    It kept you in suspense the whole way through. Listening to the main character talk her way through the novel of the current events. The way she perceives the court hearing, how and why she thinks the shooting happened. Her emotions and the way she feels her parents now see her.

    Such an interesting read that wants you wanting more.

    Thanks again beauty and Lace for the chance to read this fantastic novel x

  7. Quicksand was one of my favourite reads of 2017!

    A Swedish Crime novel based on a young teen who is caught up in shocking school shooting.

    Maja comes comes from an affluent family, is a high achiever and popular at school. She is one of the few survivors of a classroom shooting and is fighting to come to terms with her role in the tragedy.

    The story is set in a courtroom and Maja is front and centre.

    This is a wonderfully written story and is definitely lives up to the hype as being one of Sweden’s best crime novels of the year!

    The author has made this an easy read which I’d recommend to anyone.

    Thank you Beauty and lace, and Simon & Schuster for providing me with another great novel to read and review!

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