Pages: 322 pages
Published: February 25th 2016
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books (UK)
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Health, Realistic Fiction
I was brave
She was reckless
We were trouble
Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie – confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. As Suzanne’s past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But the course of both friendship and recovery is rougher than either girl realises, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own.
Sara Barnard is restoring my faith in the YA genre. She is proof that you can write a compelling, heartbreaking but beautifully written without playing to typical tropes of YA literature. I was so engrossed in this book that I had a hard time putting it down. It touched all the necessary points of making a great story: realistic characters, a compelling plot, well-written and a relevant and important topic. I wished that a book like this existed during my teenage years, that way I have a better understanding of my friendships (most of them were girls) and my mental health. Barnard took an important issue and told the hard truths about it, no sugar coating like some authors do.
Barnard mentioned in her author’s note that there are different forms of love and she decided to focus on the love within female friendships. Society tends to forget the impact that friendship could have on individual and this book highlights it beautifully. Caddy’s determination to stick by Suzanne can be frustrating but you see through her resilience and commitment that she starts to learn more about herself and her surroundings, which, in my opinion, made her more real to me and have a deeper connection with. And let us not forget Suzanne. Suzanne may have been troubled but unfortunately, Suzanne represents the young people who are crying for help but don’t seem to get in time. Such a strong, powerful read in necessary times.