by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan
This book was so sweet! Honestly I didn’t think I would like it that much but it’s a great contemporary with just enough action to keep it exciting. It deals with a lot of important topics (immigration, racism, friendship and abuse) so it could be a very heavy and hard-to-read book, but I thought the character development and verse-style layout was perfect to keep a balance of serious topic and fun book. It has the same layout as One by Sarah Crossan (one of my favourite books of 2016) which reads so quickly, so I was finished in a couple of days! I am a huge fan of Sarah Crossan and loved reading from a new author, so will be looking out for any of Brian Conaghan’s books in the future.
You can’t help but feel for Nicu and Jess, and their personal struggles. It was fascinating reading from Nicu’s perspective – from fitting in at school and learning English to dealing with his parents expectations and his arranged marriage. I didn’t know anything about Romanian culture before – it’s so different from how I live and what’s expected of me. Jess’s struggles with her friendships in this novel are really interesting, and you get to see her grow so much as a character. Her family issues are also very realistic and I think will be very easy for a lot of people to relate to. It was different and actually quite a special book, where the relationship was so raw and the character’s were quite naïve, yet I got the impression that they think they know everything.
It’s not exactly what I’d call a happy ending but I feel satisfied and sure that Nicu and Jess will be okay and that they’re doing what is best for them!
Disclaimer: I was sent this book on a read-to-review basis from Bloomsbury Childrens and NetGalley. All opinions are my own.