Published by Harper Collins Source: Netgalley
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Young Adult
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Coo is trying to cope with the hand that life has dealt her. At sixteen, she feels she’s too young to have lost her older brother, Sam, to alcoholism. She’s skipping school to avoid the sympathy and questions of her friends and teachers, and shunning her parents, angry that they failed to protect her, and desperate to avoid having to face the fact that, towards the end, she began to wish Sam would leave forever – even die. Then, one day, truanting by the Brighton seafront, Coo meets Banks, a homeless alcoholic and she’s surprised to discover that it is possible for her life to get more complicated.Despite warnings from her friends and family, Coo and Banks develop an unlikely friendship. Brought together through a series of unexpected events, strange midnight feasts, a near drowning and the unravelling of secrets, together they seek their chance for redemption. That is, until Coo’s feelings start getting dangerously out of hand.
I’m not exactly known for a love of young adult books, but honestly that’s because I feel like a lot of YA books end up being a little too immature for me, but I think the subject matter of this book kind of saved it for me. Coo is a girl who has dealt with some serious adult issues in her very young life. I liked that this book tackled those heavy issues, because lets face it teenagers today do have to deal with things that they shouldn’t have to.
So the book is largely written like a diary, Coo’s diary to be precise. So because it feels like a diary it sometimes feels a little disjointed, but it ends up working for the kind of tone that the book has, or at least that’s how I feel about it. Co’s brother was an alcoholic, and a pretty violent one at that. Coo was definitely afraid of him, and she is haunted by her memories of him throughout the novel. Her brother died before the book begins and Coo has kind of been left behind by everyone. Her parents pretty much are consumed in their grief, and the people who she goes to school with for the most part just seem to ignore her.
So when Coo meets Banks, it’s no wonder that they are able to form a bond, I mean she has someone in this situation that listens to her. Banks is a homeless man, and Coo is just a kid. More over Coo ends up walking down a road that others around her don’t agree with, she starts drinking with Banks and hanging out with Banks and his friends, and not all of his friends like her. Coo’s friends, family, and even the police start to worry about the road Coo is going down, and more over are super suspicious of Banks. I have to admit there were times when I was wondering about his motives and if he really is a good guy. The book definitely takes you on a ride with these two characters, and I have to say that both characters were well written, but Banks especially so.
I thought this was a pretty interesting and very heavy young adult book. It did end a bit on the abrupt side, but other than that it was a good read for me. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a young adult book that tackles serious issues.