Truly, Wildly, Deeply by Jenny McLachlan
|Truly, Wildly, Deeply by Jenny McLachlan|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Lovely feel-good story about overcoming adversity and maintaining a sense of self through first love. Jenny McLachlan always pitches things beautifully and no change here.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: March 2018|
|External links: Author's website|
Annie has chosen to leave school in favour of doing her A levels at a college a train ride away. She's quite excited about this new adventure and the extra layer of independence it represents. No more silly school uniform. No more being followed around by a dedicated teaching assistant. It's going to be great. And nothing is going to get in the way of Annie making the most of it - not even the wheelchair she sometimes has to use, as person with cerebral palsy.
And college is great. Annie soon finds a group of slightly weird but lovely kids she can see herself being friends with. And she also finds... Fab. Fab is a presence and a half. He's six foot something, Polish, and passionate about, well, everything. Fab has a big personality and big opinions. He and Annie entertain the rest of their literature class with their arguments about Wuthering Heights. Less entertaining, so far as Annie is concerned, is Fab's romantic interest in her. She doesn't want to be anyone's girlfriend, thank you very much... until, that is, she does. But is it too late? Annie will have to make a romantic gesture of epic proportions if she has any hope of convincing Fab that she is for real.
Truly, Wildly, Deeply is such a feel-good story. I thought it was really great to read about a central character with a disability - there really aren't enough depictions of disabled people in YA stories. Annie's cerebral palsy is clearly an important part of her life - dealing with other people's expectations and perceptions has had a big effect on her. And she is so determined not to be dependent on anybody because of that, ever, that she resists Fab's initial overtures quite strongly. Fab, who is larger than life and very demonstrative, talks about wanting Annie to be his girl and that's enough to send Annie running for the hills. And you can't blame her.
But of course, Annie also has to learn that loving relationships do involve trust and vulnerability and that this doesn't have anything to do with her disability. It's a different kind of vulnerability and it most certainly has nothing to do with pity or dependence. I loved Annie. She's clever, opinionated, blunt. And Fab's boundless positivity and cheerfulness is the perfect foil for her. They make a lovely couple and I was rooting for them for all I was worth.
Jenny McLachlan keeps it reasonably light even though she is dealing with some quite difficult topics - disability, first love and peer pressure, being separated from a parent that you love, living in a strange country. But Truly, Wildly, Deeply is a kind-hearted and relatable that includes a goodly dollop of wisdom wrapped up in a wit that is generously funny rather than cruel. It's a feel-good story, this one. And all the better for it.
Red Sky in the Morning by Elizabeth Laird also deals with adolescence and disability. And is also a lovely read!
You can read more book reviews or buy Truly, Wildly, Deeply by Jenny McLachlan at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Truly, Wildly, Deeply by Jenny McLachlan at Amazon.com.
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