Book Recommendation of the Month, Reviews, Scottish Reads

Duck Feet

‘Duck Feet’ is a coming-of-age novel, set in the mid-noughties in Renfrew and Paisley, Scotland. Dive in and follow the lives of 12-year-old Kirsty Campbell and her friends as they navigate life from first to sixth year at Renfrew Grammar school.

This book is a celebration of working-class life and youth in an ever-changing world. It uses humour to tackle hard-hitting subjects such as drugs, bullying, sexuality, and teenage pregnancy. But moreover, it is a relatable and accessible portrait of figuring out who you are, plunging into the currents of life, and most of all, finding hope.

I was recommended this book from a few friends who told me that I’d love it and I loved it. This was a 5 star read for me

I hoped to experience some nostalgic feelings of my own high school days as my own high school experience was only a few years earlier than Kirsty’s and I did. This was a surprise to me because I went to high school in a small town in The Scottish Borders. I think that anyone who went to high school around the year 2000 would be able to find some nostalgia. Even if you didn’t go to school during that period, I still think you would enjoy this book

I did not know that this book was written entirely in Scots Language! I haven’t read any other contemporary novels in Scots and this was just such a treat and added an extra element of enjoyment to the book. I firmly believe that this book could be enjoyed by someone who wasn’t Scottish.

I loved Kirsty straight away. She was a sweetheart, naïve at times (weren’t we all when we were 12?), a good friend with a good heart. I enjoyed getting to know her and her friends through their high school experiences. I just wanted good things to happen to her.

The characters were so varied and I saw a lot of similarities between them and myself and people I knew in school. I loved so many of the characters. Kirsty of course but also Wullie and Harpreet. It was just so lovely to see each of the characters grow and develop and to see how their relationships changed.

I also loved the way that the more annoying characters were written as I found myself getting annoyed by them along with Kirsty and her friends.

This book covered some very emotional topics and did this really well. The bullying storylines were written very well and felt realistic and covered different types of bullying from throwing chips to physical assault. It was so upsetting to read and my heart broke for the characters experiencing this.

This book included a character who experienced an eating disorder. I received treatment for disordered eating in the same year as one of the characters in this book which I found amusing. That chapter felt so real though, I thought that it was handed really well by the author and this experience felt right for the character. It’s hard to explain why without giving spoilers but the character reacts in a suitable way for that character.

I did not expect the roller coaster of emotions that this book gave me. This book made me laugh so much but and also made me ugly cry. I was convinced that this book gave me a pain in my heart which later turned out to be heartburn. I just found this book to be an absolute joy to read

I have spent a bit of time in Renfrew and the setting of the book felt realistic. I thought that the working class elements felt authentic. I even found myself rooting for Kirsty’s dad and his job hunt.

I feel compelled to recommend this book and pass the recommendation on. I absolutely loved this book, it was heartwarming and charming.

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