Orangeboy – Patrice Lawrence


Not cool enough, not clever enough, not street enough for anyone to notice me. I was the kid people looked straight through.


Sixteen-year-old Marlon has made his mum a promise – he’ll never follow his big brother, Andre, down the wrong path. So far, it’s been easy, but when a date ends in tragedy, Marlon finds himself hunted. They’re after the mysterious Mr Orange, and they’re going to use Marlon to get to him. Marlon’s out of choices – can he become the person he never wanted to be, to protect everyone he loves?

Other books by the author
Features in various anthologies
Granny Ting Ting

Coming Soon – July 2017
Indigo Donut
A story of longing, belonging and trust. Two very different young people discover who loves them, and who they can love back.

The breathtaking second book from the author of Orangeboy, selected for The Guardian’s Best New Children’s Books 2016, shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award 2016 and chosen as a World Book Night title.

Bailey is 17, mixed race, lives with his mum and dad in Hackney and spends all his time playing guitar or tending to his luscious ginger afro. Indigo is 17 and new to London, having grown up in the care system after being found by her mum’s dead body as a toddler. All Indigo wants is to know who she really is. When Bailey and Indigo meet at sixth form, sparks fly. But when Bailey becomes the target of a homeless man who seems to know more about Indigo than is normal, Bailey is forced to make a choice he should never have to make.

A story about falling in love and everyone’s need to belong.


About the author
Patrice Lawrence was born in Brighton and brought up in an Italian-Trinidadian household in Mid Sussex. She found her way to east London in the ’90s and lives there with a partner, a teenager and a cat called Stormageddon. She has been writing for as long as she has been reading. She loves crime fiction, sci-fi and trying to grow things. Her ideal mixtape includes drum ‘n’ bass, Bruce Springsteen and Studio Ghibli soundtracks. Music can’t help creeping into her books.

Author Website

Orangeboy soundtrack

Interview with the author

If you liked this, try…
Running Girl by Simon Mason
The Bombs That Brought Us Together by Brian Conaghan
Crongton Knights by Alex Wheatle
Lifers by MA Griffin
Terror Kid by Benjamin Zephaniah
Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick
The Crew/The Whisper by Bali Rai
Bomb by Sarah Mussi
The Deviants by C J Skuse


8 thoughts on “Orangeboy – Patrice Lawrence

  1. Although the start of this book seemed slow and confusing by the end I couldn’t put it down. This book offers an insight into dangerous gang life in London though the events could occur in any city. Due to the danger the characters put everything on the line for each other and made me think about morals. Despite not enjoying Orangeboy at first, I’m glad I stuck with it and got to the end.

  2. I loved this book a lot! It has a great story line and I loved the mystery and twists in the plot. Marlon has a really interesting backstory and you learn more about the characters as the book progresses. I really felt involved in the story and i enjoyed the realistic story line.

  3. Patrice Lawrence has written a unique tale of friendship, trust, loyalty and betrayal. Although Orangeboy could be slow at times, by the end I was on the edge of my seat. The start with the tragic date intrigued me right away but I was sad to find that this incident wasn’t really mentioned later on.

  4. Orangeboy is a story of action and mystery and presents a side of society which is not shown very often, except in newspapers and on TV. The story was very detailed but – I felt – held the reader’s attention only because of the need to know how it would all finish. I thought there was too much going on and a lot of it was repetitious, particularly Marlon’s brushes with the police. I thought the idea was interesting but perhaps it was elaborated too much and this made it drag.
    In my eyes, Marlon was the typical young man who rather enjoyed being important and in control for once and feeling stronger than everyone else, like when he had the knife or the gun – rather like his brother. Though I didn’t particularly like this character, I think he was portrayed realistically. Regarding the other characters, I think if they hadn’t been so many then, as a reader, I would have been able to follow the story rather better.
    All in all, it was a simple story with interesting characters that was worth reading but I wouldn’t read again.

  5. I was enticed into Orangeboy as soon as I started reading it. I liked the theme because I haven’t read anything with a gangland setting before and I felt really attached to the main characters and their tragic back story.
    I thought, however, that the story was far too long and this made some parts annoyingly slow. This was disappointing because it made me enjoy the book less than I wanted to.

  6. Orangeboy is a gripping story that unfortunately sells itself on something which is not it’s strongest point.

    One of the things I liked about the book is how real it feels. Patrice Lawrence describes the scene in either vivid imagery, or by using a clever technique I haven’t seen before- describing scenes the reader can relate to. Scenes like a high street or a derelict area stand out because of this.

    The main message of the book is about somebody not being able to tell their side of the story. Marlon, the protagonist, is often criticised for moves he has reason for. Often, nobody would believe him aside from the reader, so we can easily sympathise with him. This is a much better message then ‘being the person no-one wanted you to be’, which only comes in close to the end.

    Otherwise, this is a recommendation from me.

  7. I loved this book! The storyline was developed really well, and so were the characters. There were some unexpected events, as well. This book really made me think about the different lifestyles mentioned and about the characters motivations, some of which were not at all obvious. I felt really involved in the story, like I was actually there. This book was amazing and I would recommend everyone to read it.

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