I can’t remember exactly when he stopped being the perfect stepdad, or even if he ever was one. Perhaps that was just other people’s perception of him. I can remember, though, the first time he hit me. And the first time he crept into my room at night. Last year a girl from school got cancer and everyone rallied around her. I’m not saying she didn’t deserve the sympathy, but her suffering was heroic, whereas mine feels like a source of humiliation. You can see cancer. Or a broken leg. You can’t see this. You can’t see the suffering caused by living with someone who goes out of their way to torment you.
Kya is the best big sister ever. She’s sixteen and I am only five so she is my really big sister. When Mummy goes to work Kya does my bath time and reads my bedtime story. Tonight she read my favourite story about the baby bear who couldn’t sleep because there was too much dark in the cave. Kya says I am her baby bear and she will always protect me. I don’t need protecting from the dark though, I have a night light shaped like a mushroom.
Her lips are blood red, and she speaks the words so softly I barely hear them, ‘I know your big secret’. My blood runs cold, but she’s pinned me to the bed and I can’t move. Her eyes are like fiery emeralds, burning into me. Damn she’s sexy. ‘I know your secret, Zak. It’s your fault he’s dead!’
When Zak meets Kya, he desperately wants to save her from whatever she’s going through at home, but Kya is determined to save herself, and Lizzie. Plus, Zak has his own demons to contend with…
Firstly, what an absolutely gorgeous cover on what is a beautifully written book. Reading this is utterly compelling - it's a real page turner! The chapters are short and told from the POV of Kya, Lizzie and Zak. The author portrays the relationship between these three youngsters in such a way that you feel part of their lives. Yes, there are some hard hitting subjects such as domestic abuse, abusive behaviour and suicidal thoughts, but I felt the way in which these were portrayed in this predominantly YA book means any youngsters who may find themselves in a similar situation might be encouraged to be brave enough to speak out or seek help with the fear of blame. A great book, and one I'd recommend reading!
Such a great book, I read it in one sitting! Easy to read, and really good characters. A compelling story and loved the ending.
Absolutely amazing. I read this book in one 2.5 hour sitting, I couldn't put it down and needed to know what was going to happen. It was fantastic, full of likeable (and like to hate) characters, easy to read short chapters which kept the story moving - seeing it from mostly 2 sometimes 3 peoples points of view was a really good way to do this particular story. Loved it!
As a lover of YA fiction, the latest from Fran Grant was right up my street! Given the heavy and traumatic subject matter there are some trigger warnings (domestic abuse, suicidal thoughts).
This had me gripped as you follow 3 viewpoints - Kya, Zak and Lizzie. Can I just state here and now that I love Lizzie. Grant gave her such a beautiful and realistic voice - no mean feat. I will admit that I felt some of the discourse between Kya and Zak felt a little older than their about-to-finish high school and sixth form ages. But I loved how they see kindred spirits in each other - they are each other’s lifeline, although I would’ve liked more of a build up to their relationship. This gave me lots of feels and I’ll be looking out for more books from Fran Grant!
This is a real page turner which draws you in straight away. It has great pace all the way through, I was hooked! All the characters have an authentic voice and you really buy into them and are especially rooting for Kya from the off. A great storyline, believable characters with lovely flow to the writing. Also think it's very commendable that a mum of 3 has written this throughout lockdown - high five!
What a brilliant read! This story is told in three POVs, Kya, Lizzie and Zak. I absolutely loved Lizzie's character. The relationship between Kya and Zak is portrayed well and the support they give each other is great. I think Grant has done an amazing job with characters.
Writing style is so beautiful and with really short chapters, I found it a quick, emotional yet beautiful read. I definitely recommend.