Like Other Girls by Claire Hennessy
|Like Other Girls by Claire Hennessy|
|Reviewer: Sophie Diamond|
|Summary: Shocking and honest. A no holds barred look at teenage sexuality and Irish culture. Love, love, love it. It's such a rare gem of a story.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 288||Date: May 2017|
|Publisher: Hot Key Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Like Other Girls is a story about a girl called Lauren. She is not like other girls, though she does sometimes like other girls. For one, her mum is the headmistress of her school, for two, she doesn't fit in to a clique, and for three, her boyfriend thinks she's mad. Lauren's world has been turned upside down by a revelation of someone close to her and when something enormous happens to Lauren, she has no one she can turn to, or so she believes.
Well written, funny in places, heartbreaking in others, this is a magnificent book. Lauren is an excellent protagonist, she's so honest and certain, the world Hennessy is writing about is beautifully coloured by Lauren's distinctive voice and personality. This book deals with a lot of controversial topics in a very frank way between Lauren and the reader and a very awkward way between the characters. This awkwardness was brilliantly portrayed, because sometimes even though things need to be said they're very hard to talk about. I loved the way she describes all the things Lauren wants her mum to know but can't tell her and how frustrated Lauren gets that her mum doesn't just know.
It's hard to discuss which topics this novel deals with without giving everything away. One of the main topics is teenage sexuality. Lauren is a member of an LGBT club, which is where most of her friends are from. Teenage sexuality is always an interesting topic in books because it's full of newness, exploring and inevitably, mistakes, but this is the first book I have read where the protagonist is bisexual. Lauren's teenage experience is different to other books I have read. I think this has been handled with enormous sensitivity and with a wonderful lack of stereotyping. Lauren has a lot of problems in this book but her bisexuality isn't one of them, it's part of her.
Although I have categorised this a teen book, as it is an account of teenage experience. It's one that should be widely read by all genders and ages. This is one of those rare all inclusive books that society should read to gain more understanding of something other to make us more accepting. It's also a hard look at some Irish laws which can be absolutely devastating if you find yourself in Lauren's shoes.
Ultimately for me, this is a book about accepting each other for who we all are and finding your path. It's hard to read because it is so unflinchingly direct about a lot of things society just doesn't talk about. I'm hoping this book, as well as being a superb read, will inch that door open just a little wider.
Thank you to the Bookbag and the publishers for my review copy.
If you would like to read more of this author's work, try Nothing Tastes as Good by Claire Hennessy
You can read more book reviews or buy Like Other Girls by Claire Hennessy at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Like Other Girls by Claire Hennessy at Amazon.com.
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