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.
I received a free eARC copy of this book courtesy of Macmillan Children’s Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
So I expected this to be a real tear jerker of a read… I really did – especially considering the fact that I cry easier than sensitive-eyed people in a room full of onions. So surprisingly enough, I didn’t cry – and didn’t even feel that sad until the last sentence of the novel (but even then, I wasn’t completely and utterly heart-broken despite the many reviews which had stated that their heart had been shattered into tiny splinters by this book)… which felt weird because I felt as though this should have been a book that should have done just that, but somehow it hadn’t… and I guess I am slightly disappointed.
The pace felt slightly off for me. I remember finishing and even commented on my final Goodreads update that it “took longer than expected” – which was true but the reasoning behind it taking an entire 5 days to read despite its short length is still beyond me.
I am also quite ashamed to say that it wasn’t a memorable read. Whilst I remember the general drift of the storyline… I do not remember a lot of the details, merely a month and a bit from reading it. Which surely cannot be a good thing….?
However, I can’t say that it was a totally bad book, the style was quite enjoyable and made the otherwise almost infuriating characters bearable.
It was also an important story to tell – and I unfortunately knew what Caddy was going through, which made it more painful because I could relate to a lot of the self-doubt which she felt… And yet, I still wasn’t at all that sad, but definitely dreaded the direction in which the story was headed.
Albeit, saying that – Caddy was sort of an awful person, as were her friends. None of them were particularly good people, but then who can blame them when their parental figures were pretty shitty at doing the whole parent thing. I mean Suzanne’s aunt outright called her a burden on a few occasions and Caddy’s parents didn’t realise how damaging their expectations of her were.
I did like that aspect of the book, it did not sugarcoat things and tackled a lot of issues which teenagers in today’s society face, so big kudos to Barnard for getting the representation pretty much spot on.
Another thing I can say I truly enjoyed was the incredible depth of the friendship within it. I felt that Rosie and Caddy’s friendship was a true one, it was believable; they fought, they got mad at each other, but in the end they worked through these problems. The bond they had stretched beyond every limit that could have ever existed, it was put through a lot of strain and yet it did not break; and I found the message behind that beautiful.
I also feel the need to point out that there was a refreshing lack of a love-lead plotline. I loved it! It allowed for true development of the main storyline, from which a love interest for any of the girls would have detracted.
Overall, whilst I was largely disappointed with the book, it was definitely a great debut novel. And I cannot wait to see what else Barnard has in store!
My Rating: 2.5/5 Stars
“Everyone says apologizing works, but it never really does. Not quickly enough anyway.”