Author: Siobhan Curham
Publisher: Electric Monkey (Egmont)
Date of Publication: March 2013
Source: For review
Goodreads | Amazon
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for a honest review. This does not affect my review/opinions in any way. Thank you Siobhan!
Refreshing, captivating and real are three words that come into my head when I think about this book. I was absolutely hooked by chapter two and I finished it in around two hours flat, not including the three or four 5-minute intervals where I sat and stared at the cover. Don't judge me, it's so pretty!
But moving on, this is a beautiful contemporary that contains lots of subtle mysteries and intrigue, without you even realising it as you read. The book follows Claire, who is being bullied recklessly, as she finds herself, mentally, physically and biologically, and discovers secrets that have been kept from her all her life.
In some, most, books that include bullying, the bullying isn't realistic and I find myself sitting and not believing in the book, which stops my enjoyment. Curham achieved and overcame this and more; the bullying is described in complete depth and I believed in it, I felt as if it was really happening; and as horrible as bullying is, I loved this, because of how rare it is to find a book with good, believable bullying scenes in them.
Curham represents perfectly being a teenager, particularly a bullied one who has lots of family problems. The book shows how difficult teenager to parent communications can become, especially about things such as seeing a biological parent if your parents are split and difficult situations like these.
I also loved the "notebook extracts" that Cherokee wrote throughout writing her story, as they gave such a deep insight to how she thought and how she formed images of people, and herself, in her own mind.
As you can probably tell, emotion is one of the key parts of this book and Curham executes it perfectly: I could clear as glass see Cherokee's emotions throughout the book. One thing I found interesting is how you could tell the undertone of Cherokee, such as when she writes like she isn't bothered but a jealous undertone is there. I don't find this in a lot of books; because it's hard to see, unlike in a person where you can identify body language.
I loved Cherokee throughout the book and by the end loved her determination and bravery. Sophie said that she is as worthy a heroine as Tris or Katniss, and I couldn't agree more; she has all the characteristics as well as having made a stand against the bullies. I also adored Steve as the fatherly figure of the book; I could see how Cherokee's emotion changed when she was with him; how they formed their relationship with music, and I could relate to it. My relationship with my own father is fragile, but we both love music, which is something to connect with each other. One of my favourite quotes from the book was when she was about to go and meet Steve:
"I felt all the following in one go: excited, terrified, sick,
giggly, angry, tearful and in a state of shock."
Overall, this an absolutely beautiful and realistic book. Cherokee as a character is gorgeous and clear cut, and the writing is just perfect.