This book did not fit any of my Challenge criteria.
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.
What I liked:
A lot of people criticised Flo and Renée’s friendship, saying it happened too soon to be real. In fact, I thought the fact it happened so soon made it more realistic. Think about it – if your only friend was a bit of a nightmare, wouldn’t you want to escape to someone new as well?
What I didn’t like:
I took an instant dislike to Sally. She was rude, possessive, and every teenage girl’s nightmare. I did feel a little sorry for her at the end of the novel, though I did quite feel in some ways shed given her comeuppance. Sally felt almost like a cartoon villain, until you remember that girls like her really do exist.
I wasn’t a huge fan of Flo’s brother either. I felt he was quite manipulative. But, again, it’s a realistic portrayal of people who actually do exist.
Out of five?:
Four. Despite some characters really not sitting well with me, Flo and Renée’s story brought it right back around.