It’s the mid-1990s, and fifteen year-old Guernsey schoolgirls, Renée and Flo, are not really meant to be friends. Thoughtful, introspective and studious Flo couldn’t be more different to ambitious, extroverted and sexually curious Renée. But Renée and Flo are united by loneliness and their dysfunctional families, and an intense bond is formed. Although there are obstacles to their friendship (namely Flo’s jealous ex-best friend and Renée’s growing infatuation with Flo’s brother), fifteen is an age where anything can happen, where life stretches out before you, and when every betrayal feels like the end of the world. For Renée and Flo it is the time of their lives.
As a first book I would say Dawn has done really well, you wouldn’t know it was her debut. It is a character based novel and the two main characters are both suffering form a lack of decent friends or a good home. Although there situations aren’t average a lot of their feelings are and it is this and the way they are written that makes it easy to connect with them. The story throws some hard problems at the girls but when they find each other they learn the power of true friendship. I found it almost brutal in its honesty but I wasn’t 15 that long ago and life does feel so serious at that age. This was my only issue, that I was a little past the age of understanding but I think for girls 13 – 17 this book would be a fantastic read. What makes it so good is that their friendship is so true. They are living in a time when everything wasn’t warped by technology and so they have to communicate by person or notes and I loved that it made them come together to solve their problems rather than bitching through the internet as often happens now. I would recommend this book to girls still at school, possibly 14/15 year olds mostly but its worth a read by most.