Wednesday, 8 January 2014
Review: Trouble - Non Pratt
Hannah’s smart and funny . . . she’s also fifteen and pregnant. Aaron is new at school and doesn't want to attract attention. So why does he offer to be the pretend dad to Hannah’s unborn baby?
Growing up can be trouble but that’s how you find out what really matters.
Visit Non Pratt's website for more information.
Trouble is published in the UK and the US on the 6th of March 2014. I never usually review books quite so early but I just couldn't resist starting Non Pratt's debut novel. I have to be honest here and tell you that I've known Non for nearly four years now and consider her a friend. I've tried really hard not to let that effect my review but I think it's only fair to mention it.
Trouble is a fantastic coming of age story, it is a book about family, friendships and what can happen when you make a stupid mistake. Hannah is smart, funny and likes to have a good time with her friends. She is also 15 and just found out she is pregnant. Aaron is the new boy in school who tries to keep to himself and is hiding something from his past that he doesn't want anyone else to find out. The two strike up an unlikely friendship and when Hannah realises how much trouble she is in Aaron steps up and pretends to be the father of her baby so he can support her. Now the pair find themselves juggling school gossip, Hannah's pregnancy and revision for their GCSEs.
I have to tell you how spot on Non was when she created these characters, their voices are so authentic that it would be easy to believe that they are real people. Hannah is pretty much the complete opposite of me as a teen but I knew girls who were exactly like her and I loved the fact that Non takes such a realistic approach to teenagers and sex. She doesn't try to hide what teenagers get up to and although she doesn't glamorise it, she doesn't condemn it either. Books about teenage pregnancy can be quite controversial but I think this kind of story is incredibly important and if it makes one girl think twice before having unprotected sex then that's a wonderful thing. We get to see the highs and the lows of Hannah's pregnancy and I loved how true to life her emotions were, it felt like you were going through the experience right alongside her and I admired her for the way she dealt with everything that happened.
As much as I loved Hannah I think Aaron was my favourite character. The story is told from dual points of view so you get to see exactly what he was thinking as he volunteered to be Hannah's baby daddy. You know from very early on that something terrible happened at his old school but it takes quite a long time before he opens up enough to share any of the details. His guilt and hurt over that event is what pushes him into trying to help Hannah, he wants to atone for mistakes in the past and this seems like the perfect way to do it. It was interesting to see Aaron try to fit in at a new school but one of the things I enjoyed most was the friendship be builds with Neville, a resident at the care home where he volunteers. That's another thing that is so great about this novel - the wonderful and well developed side characters.
Trouble is a fantastic debut, one that tackles difficult subjects but does so with sensitivity. It has plenty of humour to lighten the tone but not so much that it makes light of the topics it is dealing with. Non Pratt may be a new name in UKYA contemporary fiction but it's one we're going to be hearing a lot about in the future and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!
Source: Received from Walker in exchange for an honest review
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