Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Read Me Like A Book by Liz Kessler

Where's your best friend when you need her?
I mean, seriously.
It's Saturday night and here I am in Luke's front room with his sister, Zoe, and a bunch of his mates, listening to a rock band blaring about how we all going to  die, and watch a couple of lads do something that I think is intended to be dancing but looks more like they're being slowly electrocuted. 
Published by Indigo in May 2015
Pages - 297
Ashleigh Walker is in love. You know the feeling - that intense, heart-racing, all-consuming emotion that can only come with first love. It's enough to stop her worrying about bad grades at college. Enough to distract her from her parents' marriage troubles. There's just one thing bothering her . . .

Shouldn't it be her boyfriend, Dylan, who makes her feel this way - not Miss Murray, her English teacher?
*******
This is one of the most hotly anticipated novels of 2015 and it did not disappoint. I've read quite a few of Liz Kessler's middle grade novels, so I was surprised and worried about the author's transformation to Young Adult, especially when dealing with such a topical and often sensitive subject, but I can actually say she blew me away with this book.
The main character, Ashleigh, is one of those people that  you feel like you know before she really knows herself.  You can see she isn't happy with everything that is going on her life. Her relationships so far haven't been anything to write home about and her encounters with Dylan, just leave her cold. Her home life is awful; she feels that is stuck in the middle of her parents, as the move towards divorce. 
I think the author captured the rollercoaster of emotions that many teenagers seem to travel on extremely well. Ashleigh's feelings are all over the place, she is confused by her feelings for Miss Murray, and worried about everything that is going on with Dylan. 
I love that the author didn't shy away from sex in this novel. We all know that teenagers have sex, it might not be talked about loudly, but we know it happens and it needs to be included in YA novels. I thought the description of Ashleigh's first sexual encounter with Dylan, extremely well written. I can remember many of my friends of that age, desperate to lose their virginity and then telling horrific tales of their first times. 
I thought it was brilliant how Ashleigh came out to her parents, which showed the contrasting views of many parents today, who either are fully supportive of their child, or really struggle to accept their child is gay. 
This really is a brilliant book and definitely one that all teenagers should read. If you know any child who is struggling with their sexuality, this book would be an ideal read for them.  The YA genre welcomes this book gladly to it's fold. 
This book shows that when you fall in love, gender doesn't really matter. 

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