Unfortunately I didn't particularly like this book. I thought I was picking up a teen thriller (with a slightly unusual cover!) and while it is tryingUnfortunately I didn't particularly like this book. I thought I was picking up a teen thriller (with a slightly unusual cover!) and while it is trying to be a teen thriller, that's not what this book is. I wish this book wasn't written in the way it was at all, hiding what the book is really about in order to do a shocking reveal in those last few pages. Even the elements of mental illness were kept under wraps like being LGBT or a mental illness are things to be deeply ashamed. I knew from the first few chapters what Lauren's secret is AND who might end up sending her sinister presents so I read most of this story thinking 'why? Why tell this story in this way? Trying to make out that either Lauren did something terrible in the past or was the victim of something terrible?' I just didn't get it....more
While I wasn't as emotionally invested in the characters as I'd have liked to have been, I did really enjoy the concepts it brought up. About teen preWhile I wasn't as emotionally invested in the characters as I'd have liked to have been, I did really enjoy the concepts it brought up. About teen pregnancy, being a parent, bullying, domestic violence, friendship. I liked it a lot.
The Baby by Lisa Drakeford was an interesting read that covered lots of topics that I found fascinating. Each of the five characters' stories were really interesting and I thought it was great how each character's story really builds on the overall theme of teen pregnancy/parenthood whilst also giving each character time to shine in their own right.
I found the structure of the novel to be quite unusual. There are five narrators in this book each of the five being people who have attended this 17th birthday party in which one of the guests unexpectedly (even to her!) gives birth to a baby. The rest of the story is the aftermath of this big surprise.
There is Olivia, the birthday girl. Alice, Olivia's little sister. Ben, Olivia's gay best friend. Nicola, the new mother (and Olivia's best friend.) Jonty, the father (and Olivia's boyfriend.) You can kind of see how there might be some conflict as the father of the baby is the boyfriend of someone else. And that there'd be obvious fall-out between the two best friends. But what I liked about this book is that while this book is quite slim, there was quite a lot packed into it. The exploration of these complicated relationships. Nicola (and Jonty) dealing with the fact that they are now teenage parents and what that means for their lives and futures.
Through the eyes of Nicola and Jonty we can see some of the reactions that other people have towards teenage parents which is quite sobering. There is a lot of stigma and negativity surrounding teen parents which can be quite sad to read about. For me, there was a bit of a disconnect between me and most of these characters, however, Nicola's adventures of being a new parent and caring for a newborn made tears come to my eyes. I knew exactly the frustration and fatigue and helplessness she felt as she tried so desperately to soothe a colicky baby in the middle of the night.
But I also found Alice and Ben's story lines very interesting in that they are involved in Nicola and her baby's lives and give support but they also share and we get to explore some of their own life problems. Alice with her difficulty in finding friends and being different and Ben and his search for love. But it was definitely the domestic violence aspect of Jonty and Olivia that made me really intrigued by this novel. I found it an interesting topic to explore and I quite liked seeing Jonty's character development from the beginning to end.
The Baby was something a bit different and I really liked that!...more
I wanted to read Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally mostly because I've really liked the other books I'It was okay but I just wasn't really feeling it.
I wanted to read Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally mostly because I've really liked the other books I've read so far in Miranda Kenneally's Hundred Oaks series. I've enjoyed the connectivity between the characters, I've enjoyed the characters and their relationships together. So I quite happily requested Jesse's Girl on Netgalley and was all prepared to sit down and get lost in another wonderful contemporary love story.
Unfortunately I felt a bit let down by Jesse's Girl. Everything is just so straight forward, with no extra layers or complexity. We're told everything we need to know: that Jesse has no friends or family and feels very lonely and has lost his trust in other people. Maya has a knock to her confidence and doesn't quite know if she should carry on with her music as a solo artist or look for another band after she's kicked out of hers. And with all of that information laid at the reader's feet, I found myself very underwhelmed by everything that happened throughout the story. I wanted to like it more than I did but I found it just 'okay.'
Jesse's Girl is the story of Maya (the younger sister of Sam from Catching Jordan) and her eventful day when she is paired with a famous country singer, Jesse, on her school's career day. She's more rock and he's a country singer. He also has trust issues so of course there was a bit of drama and conflict at their first meeting. They soon get over it and go on a Ferris Bueller type adventure for the day. It was kind of sweet and I did think their day sounded amazing. I just wanted more depth to the story than there was.
It was quite nice to catch up with Jordan and Sam from the first book in the Hundred Oaks series. I loved seeing what they were up to and how their relationship has progressed several years down the line. Sam was quite the over protective older brother but Jordan seemed to balance him out.
Jesse's Girl was a cute read. It had some fun moments and I did like Jesse's gay uncle but for the most part, I just wasn't feeling this book or the relationships between any of the characters. I felt very disconnected from the lot of them. And for that I feel very disappointed. I will still continue to read Miranda Kenneally and pick up further books in this series but what a shame this book was a bit of a let-down. ...more