Fifteen Days without a Head, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Fifteen-year-old Laurence Roach just wants a normal life, but it's not easy when your mum is a depressed alcoholic, and your six-year-old brother thinks he's a dog.

When Mum fails to come home one night, Laurence tells nobody, terrified he and his brother will be taken into care if anyone finds out.

Instead, he attempts to keep up the pretence that Mum is still around: dressing up in her clothes to trick the neighbours and spinning an increasingly complicated tangle of lies.

After two weeks on their own, running out of food and money, and with suspicious adults closing in, Laurence finally discovers what happened to his mother. And that's when the trouble really starts ...A compelling thriller filled with some hilarious and surreal moments.

Fifteen Days Without a Head is a tender, honest story about family, forgiveness and hope.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: General
  • ISBN: 9780192732569

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Funny, brave, surprising with a whiff of rock and roll. Slumdog Millionaire in a British tower block. A brilliant debut.

Review by
NOTE: I received the eARC from Netgalley.

For I while I wondered why the heck I'd even requested this book. But when I actually got to it, I realized I'd made a good choice. And the more I read, the more I liked it.

Actually, 15 Days isn't your regular book full of cheesy romance and perfect situations which lead to this absolutely awesome relationship between the characters. On the contrary, this book reeks of originality, funny (in an ironic kind of way) situations, impossible hardships. It's targeting social problems, family problems, and yeah, some romance. And yeah, there's a morale!

In my opinion, what made the book so good were the characters. They had unique personalities, were driven by their thoughts, emotions and life circumstances. All in all, they acted realistic, which felt pretty darn good.

So, I'll start of with Laurence. Dude, if a boy could ever be so responsible, resourceful and caring, this world wouldn't be in such a huge mess! When his mom just up and left, he took matters in his own hands. For a while I'd wondered why he didn't have a job, or go find one, but well... he was just 15 and apparently in the UK that's not considered old enough to work. Also, if he'd gotten a job, who would've cared about his little brother, Jay? Goodness, Laurence was just fifteen and all the responsibilities that fell over him overnight were heavy enough to crush anyone. But he held on for entire two weeks!!!

Sure, half that time he and Jay were starving, dirty and sick, but they survived, so that's what matters in the end.

I'm not sure why Jay was so disobedient and continually insisted that nothing was 'up to Laurence'. It annoyed the crap out of me after the 3rd time. I believe if I were in Laurence's place, I might've slapped Jay on the mouth or something for being so stubborn. But then again, he was just 6 years old. And besides, it's not really Jay's fault that he wasn't raised to be obedient and nice.

It's all come from the mom (who just left them to take care of themselves) and dad (who's never to be found).

To be honest, I felt for the mom. I mean, she was a single mom, who had to care of 2 boys. And she had no one to help out. But dude, if we look at the statistics, isn't that the case of like 25% of the female population? You turn left and you see single moms. You turn right and they're right there to poke you in the eye. So no, lady! Even if I feel for you, you're not right to abandon your kids! What would happen if all single moms just up and left, huh?

And last, but not least, I want to talk about Mina - the girl with the huge heart. She sure won me over, and with that Jay and Laurence as well. She was amazing both in attitude and caring.

Okay, so you have to actually pick up the book and read it for yourself if you got intrigued. I'm telling you, it's worth its money.