Published by Electric Monkey / Egmont

Not yet published at time of going to post: January 2016

I couldn’t put this down – I read it in 48 hours – with interruptions for work and sleep.

A human story. Samantha Reed lives with her mother and elder sister next door to ‘the Garretts‘. A large rambunctious family. Their lawn is covered with plastic toys. The plants are bought as a splash of colour and then die later as they never seem to get around to water them.  They are noisy, full of life and Samantha’s mother has declared them unsuitable from the moment she returned after delivering the traditional welcome dish.

Samantha though is fascinated by this loud, relaxed family and wishes she was one of them. She Spends many hours lying on the roof of her house watching the family. She doesn’t realise that someone though has noticed her and is startled when Jase Garrett climbs the trellis and sits beside her…

I loved this – it was one of those books that I worried about, and didn’t want to end. It even had the ‘right’ ending – I thought that it might just go wrong, but didn’t – a marvellous book. Funny (I think George is one of the best fictional four year olds ever), touching and moving.

“Is Jase already gonna marry you?”

I start coughing again. “Uh, No. No, George. I’m only seventeen.” As if that’s the only reason we’re not engaged.

“I’m this many.” George holds up four, slightly grubby fingers. “But Jase is seventeen and a half. You could. Then you could live in here with him. And have a big family.”

Jase strides back into the room, of course, midway through this proposition. “George. Beat it. Discovery Channel is on.”

George backs out of the room but not before saying, “His bed’s really comfortable. And he never pees in it.”

Teenagers are often under pressure to conform, to ‘do the right thing‘, and ‘to smile’; to behave as society, often their parents‘ society demand… This story is when all of that goes wrong and  how sometimes something more can come out of something wrong…if the people make the right decisions…

It is brilliant.