Book reviews



Sometimes, something happens in your life that changes everything. When Sasha was six, her dad died suddenly and the world changed forever. Now she’s twelve, it feels like things are changing all the time: her twin brother hardly talks to her any more, her mum’s dating a teacher from school, her best friend Lily keeps going on about boys … and Sasha doesn’t feel ready for any of it. Why can’t things just stay the same?

The one place she can escape is Blossom House, her secret place – an old, echoey, overgrown, beautiful, empty mansion, where the only thing that changes is the weather and the flowers in the garden. There’s just one problem: it isn’t hers. And even a house can have secrets …

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There’s something about pre-teen characters that sometimes put me off. I think it’s mostly because of the immaturity and overwhelming way they blow up every situation. But despite that, this book was one that drew attention to the reality of growing up and the pressure to grow up too quickly.

This book begun better than I expected. Sasha was more mature that I expected – always looking at things a bit more rationally and sensibly than a normal pre-teen character would. And I appreciated that but once the love-interest entered the picture, everything just irked me. Trashing a perfectly good and may I say awesome house for a house party plus dressing up as the equivalent as a uni student at a club just to impress some unimpressive, egotistical boy wanted me to shake the daylights out of this girl.

But in all honestly, I did find myself laughing at times during this book. Her brother’s antics and them losing a gigantic python still had that element of good ol’ innocence. Sasha’s best friend, Lily annoyed me on the other hand. I can imagine her in high school as one of the followers in the plastics with no brain except to mimic the queen bee in every way.

The writing was simple if not straight-forward and it was good to see in such a book. This sort of style was essential in addressing the issues that lie between puberty and childhood and even though it made me cringe to read, it did remind me of my own pre-teen experiences.

So in general, a book that I say is a must-read for all pre-teens and an interesting if not cringe-full novel for older audiences who just feel melancholic for their own naive years.



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