I received this ARC a while ago from Pan Macmillan via
Netgalley, so firstly thank you to them for sending me a book I now hold
dear to my heart.
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 learnt that downward spirals have momentum of their own.
Going into this book I didn't expect to become so attached to the characters in it at all but it's completely blown me away...
Our story begins with best friends Caddy and Rosie who go to separate school's but have been friends since forever, they differ considerably and know each other inside out upside down. Then enters the new girl Suzanne who at first makes Caddy feel she is losing Rosie because Suzanne is beautiful, adventurous, daring but as we later learn, damaged.
Unexpectedly, Caddy is drawn to the spontaneous Suzanne and they quickly become the best of friends. From this point on, Caddy begins to come out of shell and tries new fun, exhilarating but at times dangerous things. Much to her parents dislike Caddy carries on being friends with Suzanne even when the limits build up to an explosive incident, Caddy remains faithful to Suzanne. Caddy though uptight and even naive at times has a heart of gold, she's there day and night for Suzanne putting her education and life at risk. She just wants to be there for her friend, she wants her to not feel useless and for me them dealing with these awful situations when they're only teens, is truly heartbreaking and yet they show inspiring girl power spirit.
The theme of this book centres around mental health and abusive situations, it addresses how they don't just affect one person they effect everyone around them. This was well brought out in this book, not just learning of the consequences for the victim but those who love them. They can feel pushed out, useless, isolated. Being there for somebody and telling them you love them is a great comfort, and can even be enough for you to give them. Sometimes help is out of your hands unfortunately, but seeking professional help can be the best solution even if it doesn't seem like it at the time.
One of the most emotional books I've ever read, the kind of emotion that surprises you because it just creeps up and catches you out. I certainly wasn't prepared for this read but my gosh I wouldn't change it for the world, I was left wondering what to do with myself I was a bit of a broken mess- but strangely in a good way.
It made me realise and Sara points it out beautifully that "there's no love quite like that shared between teenage girls", she's spot on with this. A love for a friend is such a powerful thing, a personal reflection on one of my own friendships; when a friend was in need of help I did everything I could to be there for them. What effected her effected me, because my best friend wasn't herself and she needed someone to just be there and to know that she was loved. You can go through so much with friends and real one's never let you down, ever.
I've been utterly compelled by Caddy and Suzanne's relationship, their story is one I'm not going to forget- the ultimate friendship story.
Praise and thank you to Sara Barnard for writing such a beautifully broken book.