A well written, difficult, disturbing and edgy read. This book is tragic and incredible. It contains an accurate description about the horrors of moderA well written, difficult, disturbing and edgy read. This book is tragic and incredible. It contains an accurate description about the horrors of modern day prostitution. The characters are well developed and very believable. It is simple. This novel needs to be read....more
This book is disturbing in a good way, dark and compelling. Beautifully written, honest and raw story of a young girl's quest for love or lack thereofThis book is disturbing in a good way, dark and compelling. Beautifully written, honest and raw story of a young girl's quest for love or lack thereof.
The story is told through the voices of three characters (3 POVs): Layla, her mother Margot, and a disconnected young Japanese man, Tadashi.
Dominant voice is Layla’s. Layla is 14 years old and just_a_girl is her screen nick name. Her parents are separated and she rarely sees her father. Her story has very strong sexual content. But it's also sad. She's just a young girl going through isolation and basically wants attention. And catches it from all the wrong places. She is provocative. She finds school uninteresting. Layla doesn´t understand her mum and she finds her lame. Her father is absent and she amuses herself by exploring her budding sexuality with her boyfriend, random strangers she meets online and with a much older man she identifies as Mr C (her mother´s pastor).
Her mother Margot is in her own world. She is disappointed dreamer who seeks solace in religion. Abandoned and humiliated by Layla's gay father, and with no family support herself, she turned to antidepressants and then to religion. She worries about Layla, but doesn't know how to talk to her.
The third character- Tadashi is also disconnected and is living in a foreign culture. He is a complex character, poetic dreamer and he lives in the illusion of a romantic relationship with a life-sized doll which bears a striking similarity to Layla .
The writing style is very rough and honest because there is very little sugar coating of motivations. A lot of novels would sugar coat Layla´s behaviour, using excuses of love or innocence for doing things. This novel does not; she does things because she wants to and for no other reason, with not too much introspection as to whether the things she is doing are wise or dangerous. In that I think it is a very accurate portrayal of how the minds of some teenagers work, they are at a stage of life to explore their world and this is what they do.
This book explores a teen's lack of self esteem and self worth and the boundaries she will cross to feel accepted and "loved" in the only way she thinks she deserves. As the parent of a young daughter, there are aspects of Layla's story—such as the challenges of parenting in the digital age—that scare the hell out of me. But I was glad to have read it because it has forced me to think proactively about the risks posed by playing in the online space. It's a cautionary tale for parents. Do you know who your children are chatting and flirting with online in the room next door? This book is a real eye-opener! Recommended for adults and teens alike as there are engaging characters both can connect with. Looking forward to the next book by this young Aussie writer!
Easy and fast read, leaving you at the end wanting more. Honest, friendly, unpretentious - highly recommended ....more
Jedna od najboljih knjiga našeg govornog područja koju sam pročitala...ikada. Započinje kao idilična obiteljska priča, a završava kao tragedija. JedvaJedna od najboljih knjiga našeg govornog područja koju sam pročitala...ikada. Započinje kao idilična obiteljska priča, a završava kao tragedija. Jedva čekam nabaviti ostale knjige ovoga autora....more
I enjoyed this book immensely. Great female characters (Jill and Mandy) and interesting plot twists. This book deals with a few different issues, oneI enjoyed this book immensely. Great female characters (Jill and Mandy) and interesting plot twists. This book deals with a few different issues, one being the death of a parent, second- teen pregnancy, third- ...well, you´ll have to read it to find out.
At first, I despised Mandy. She is obviously just so lost. The more the story went on the more I liked Mandy and realized that she's not nearly as dumb as she seems. She really got under my skin. This girl was confused yet I didn’t know if she had a mental issue (Alex from the train- WTF?!) or if she was manipulative. She definitely has issues and she had rough upbringing. But when Mandy expressed why she couldn't sign a contract giving away her baby, it tore at my heart.
I definitely recommend this one, it's not an easy book to read, but it definitely pays off by the end....more
I have no words to describe it! I can't say I enjoyed the book but I enjoyed the author's style and writing. This is notWhat can I say about this book?
I have no words to describe it! I can't say I enjoyed the book but I enjoyed the author's style and writing. This is not a romance novel, like the info page says. This is a book about child abuse, incest and everything wrong, so don´t espect romantic HEA. If you can stomach the first chapter, then you are the hero who can read the rest. But be awere! The last chapter will make you stop and say :
Unique, dark, disturbing and insightfull, yet beautifull in their own right. This author will push your boundaries, give you chills and make you beg for more in the same time....more
This book is coming of age story about two youths that fall in love, about the friendship between two girls and a journey of inner destruction causedThis book is coming of age story about two youths that fall in love, about the friendship between two girls and a journey of inner destruction caused by addiction. It shows two extremes in parental behaviour and beliefs and the consequences resulting in a catastrophy waiting to happen. It's realistic and very different from any book about teens I have ever read. It ripped feeling from me. I had to keep remembering that the characters are so young. It's sad and bitter sweet and heart wrenching and stomach dropping loving and harsh.
The story is captivating and intense and painful and passionate. If you want happy rainbow romance and are bothered by the realities of life and growing up, than skip this novel, it won't be good for you. Just continue to hide and pretend. This novel is a dark YA contemporary coming of age romance novel. I can say you won't regret reading it....more