Book Recommendation of the Month, Reviews, Scottish Reads

Wendy and Me

Wendy is nineteen and living alone.
All she wants is to drive the 255 bus around Uddingston with her regulars on board, remember to buy milk when it runs out and to just be ok. After her mum passed away, there’s no one to remind Wendy to eat, what to do each day and most importantly to love herself. Every week Wendy proudly shows her social worker Saanvi the progress she’s made, like the coasters she bought to spruce up the place, even if she does forget to offer her a cup of tea.

But Wendy is ready to put herself out there and really live.
She joins a writer’s group to share stories she writes including the one about a bullied schoolboy who goes to Mars. The other writers are total amateurs, unlike Diane Weston – a famous local author who likes and sometimes even comments on Wendy’s tweets.

Everything changes on a rainy day when Wendy meets Ginger.
A teenager with flaming orange hair, Ginger’s so brave she’s wearing a coat that isn’t even waterproof. For the first time, Wendy has a real best friend. But as they begin the summer of their lives, Wendy wonders if her life would be simpler if she hadn’t met Ginger. And that’s before she realises just how much of a mess Ginger is about to get them in…

I was so excited to pick up this book as it came to me with high recommendations, from people who with similar reading tastes, so I was a keen bean going in. From page 1, I was hooked. The book opened with Wendy, the protagonist, in prison. Then goes back in time to detail the events that ended with her being arrested. I thought that was so smart because I was reading the book trying to work out what she did. There were loads of little red herrings and I just found myself jumping to conclusions and just compelled to keep reading.

I absolutely loved Wendy as a character! I just loved her. She felt so realistic. She was a young woman who had lost her mother, her mother was her entire support network, so she was just lost! Ginger entered her life like a whirlwind and while Wendy wondered what would have happened if she didn’t form a friendship with her, you could see how much she cared about her. I really enjoyed the friendship between Ginger and Wendy. Two wee souls that just needed a pal. Ginger was young and at times felt…young! I kept forgetting she was only 15 and getting annoyed that she didn’t seem to understand Wendy’s obligations because in spite of their similarities, they were at different places in their lives.

I really enjoy books that feel like a slice of life. Wendy felt real. Ginger felt real. The pretentious writing club felt real. My wee heart broke while reading this as I just fell so in love with the characters that I wanted only good things for them and kept worrying that perhaps something bad may happen…because it’s a book and a twist is always coming.

I feel like the relationship (for lack of a better word, although ‘interaction’ is probably a better choice of word) between Wendy and Diane was really well described. It escalated so quickly! Only after finishing the book did I think about how creepy it was from the beginning. Both characters were so lovely but their entire interaction was rather terrifying!

I absolutely adored this book! It made me feel and I just loved the characters so much! This was my bookclub pick and I’m so excited to be able to chat about this book for days to come.

Book Recommendation of the Month, Reviews

The Beautiful Ones

They are the Beautiful Ones, Loisail’s most notable socialites, and this spring is Nina’s chance to join their ranks, courtesy of her well-connected cousin and his calculating wife. But the Grand Season has just begun, and already Nina’s debut has gone disastrously awry. She has always struggled to control her telekinesis—neighbors call her the Witch of Oldhouse—and the haphazard manifestations of her powers make her the subject of malicious gossip.

When entertainer Hector Auvray arrives to town, Nina is dazzled. A telekinetic like her, he has traveled the world performing his talents for admiring audiences. He sees Nina not as a witch, but ripe with potential to master her power under his tutelage. With Hector’s help, Nina’s talent blossoms, as does her love for him.

But great romances are for fairytales, and Hector is hiding a truth from Nina—and himself—that threatens to end their courtship before it truly begins. The Beautiful Ones is a charming tale of love and betrayal, and the struggle between conformity and passion, set in a world where scandal is a razor-sharp weapon.

At what point should I stop saying that I love Silvia Moreno-Garcia? At what point does it just become assumed that I have loved one of her books? It should come as no surprise that I absolutely adored this book! I have now read eight books by this author. Eight! Eight books and this is definitely a contender for my favourite. It’s top three and I am not emotionally prepared to work out podium positions right now.

This was a period drama with added supernatural elements because two of the main characters posses telekinetic abilities. I love, love, loved the drama of the period setting! Nina was being introduced to society with the ultimate aim being to end the season with a fiancé. This was the aim of her family but not quite Nina’s intent as she was just happy to take in the new scenery.

I adored Nina! She was such an endearing character. She was forthright and would then chastise herself for failing to show the level of decorum expected of her by her cousin in law. She faced very high expectations which went against her very nature. She was likeable and kind, and thoughtful. She was honest, often to her detriment. She met a mysterious man at a party. It just so happened to be Hector who was a professional entertainer, he just so happened to share her ability.

I love the way that Nina and Hector brought out the best in each other. Hector had been living in the shadow of his own past and Nina taught him to live again. Hector taught Nina how to control her ability.

Hector’s secret was revealed very early on and it really did feel like the stakes were high. I felt so tense waiting for the reveal. Wondering if it would! I just had to keep reading.

The ending of this book was amazing! I cried in Starbucks because I was not expecting it. My heart! My wee heart! I thought that it was perfection.

This was such an excellent twist on a classic sort of story. I now will insist on supernatural elements in my period dramas. Oh, the drama!

Book Recommendation of the Month, Vlogs

Plain Bad Heroines

This week, the weather turned in Aberdeen. It’s cooler and windy and a little stormy, this felt like the perfect time to start reading some of the Dark Academia that I hope to get through in August.

As one of my friends had highly recommended Plain Bad Heroines to me (and it was the biggest book on my TBR), it made sense to start with this book.

My Wee Vlog

Let me tell you that I loved this book! This week’s vlog is pretty much me just talking about how much I loved it.

In the spirit of Autumn, I also had my first pumpkin spice latte of the year. I declare Autumn to have begun once I’ve had my first sip of a PSL. Although I still can’t taste or smell anything but it still counts!

I finished my week off with a stroll around Aberdeen University which really is just stunning!

Book Recommendation of the Month, Reviews, Scottish Reads


Starrsha Glowglass is on the front page of every newspaper. She isn’t a model, Vlogger, or reality TV show contestant. Starrsha is famous for something darker: she survived a massacre that claimed her Brothers and Sisters.

Hers was no ordinary family. They were The Family Glowglass – a religious order set up by an eccentric businessman as a tax dodge. One morning the parishioners sat down to breakfast; most didn’t get back up.

Only Starrsha and her mute Brother, Simon, survived. Both now have a chance to lead an ordinary life. And for Starrsha, that means high school.

Can a videotape bring back the dead? What’s behind the red door? Why won’t Starrsha’s best friend reveal her true sexuality? When is a poster on a wall actually a trap? Will My Chemical Romance reform? Why is Father obsessed with vintage tech? Why does Barbie freak out Starrsha? How many rich husbands has Aunt Imelda bumped off? And why is God crank-calling Starrsha?

For Starrsha, the path to enlightenment is a one-way trip to murder and madness…

After reading Happiness is Wasted on Me a few months ago, I fell in love with the way that Kirkland Ciccone writes characters. I instantly requested this book from the library and it only recently became available, I was giddy to read it!

I have to admit that in the time between requesting this book and reading it, I had covid and may have completely forgotten what the book was about. So I knew I was excited but allowed myself to ignore the blurb and to just go in with no expectations and just excitement.

As expected, I absolutely loved the main character Starrsha and her best friend Dan. Starrsha was just a wee soul! She had lost most of her family and was just trying to navigate high school while lacking any of the social awareness needed to get through it. Dan was a huge Gerard Way and My Chemical Romance fan which is something that I can definitely relate to! I cracked a rib seeing MCR live in 2005, totally worth it. The other high school girls felt so realistic, I hated them.

I really enjoyed the sort of treasure hunt element of this book. The Father, the cult leader, had left video tapes for Starrsha and Simon. Like a will but they felt more like just a way of tormenting his family from the grave. He had left money, a lot of money, which led to unpleasant absent family members returning to the home in order to claim the inheritance. This turned very messy, very quickly. I hated the auntie and uncle so much and I hoped that they would meet messy ends.

All the while, Starrsha found herself feeling watched. Like there was someone else in the house. It was like a locked room mystery at times and was such an exciting read.

I did not see any of the twists coming. It was such a wild ride of a book!

The format of this book was a surprise. A treat! It took the format of a transcript of vhs recordings and the book took place over a 3 hour recording that Starrsha had made. The book was part family saga, high school drama, mystery, and just twisty turny wildness. The chapters were very short as each chapter of was a single recording.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am so happy that it was as enjoyable as I’d hoped it would be. I definitely need to get my own copy of this book for my collection and I will be reading more books by this author.

Book Recommendation of the Month, Reviews

Last Night at the Telegraph Club

A story of love and duty set in San Francisco’s Chinatown during the Red Scare.

“That book. It was about two women, and they fell in love with each other.” And then Lily asked the question that had taken root in her, that was even now unfurling its leaves and demanding to be shown the sun: “Have you ever heard of such a thing?”

Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can’t remember exactly when the question took root, but the answer was in full bloom the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club.

America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father—despite his hard-won citizenship—Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.

This is a book that I’ve been interested in reading for a while. My friends and I met up a wee while ago to do a book swap and I’d like to thank my lovely pal for loaning this book to me. I will return this when I no longer have The Rona and can go outside. This book was an absolute delight.

I loved Lily! I thought that she was just such a sweet girl and so caring towards her family. Her friends, I felt, were so realistic for a friend group in high school. Her group of friends all seemed to surround one very bossy queen bee and Lily usually went along with the group as she was reluctant to cause drama. I enjoyed her meeting with Kath and bonding over being super smart and the only girls in their class for super smart people.

Lily’s life seemed to change after befriending Kath. I enjoyed her character development and that she stood up to her bossy friend despite that fact that this resulted in her group shunning her as punishment. Lily just bloomed!

Kath introduced Lily to The Telegraph Club which was a local lesbian bar that Lily had wanted to visit. I really enjoyed joining Lily on her journey of self discovery. The same for Kath too. It was really nice seeing them realise more about themselves and meeting other lesbians.

This was a real coming of age kind of romance. This was one of the sweetest romance stories I have read in a long time. I was rooting for Lily and Kath. All the while knowing that this time period wasn’t ideal for two women in love and just waiting for something bad to happen.

There were a lot of found family elements which just warmed my wee soul!

In addition to this being a love story, there were a couple of other plots running through the book; the fear of deportation and the fear of communism. Lily’s father, a respected doctor, was facing deportation despite having citizenship. There were also suspicions of communist organisations within their society. These are two topics that I haven’t really read a lot of before and found to be very interesting.

I actually didn’t know a lot about the political situation of the US in the 1950s so this book was very eye opening. There were a lot of resources provided at the end of the book so I did fall down a bit of a rabbit hole afterwards.

I found this book to be both heartwarming and heartbreaking. I thoroughly enjoyed it! This was definitely my book recommendation of the month!

Book Recommendation of the Month, Reviews

Other People’s Clothes

Hoping to escape the pain of the recent murder of her best friend, art student Zoe Beech finds herself studying abroad in the bohemian capital of Europe–Berlin. Zoe, rudderless, relies on the arrangements of fellow exchange student Hailey Mader, who idolizes Warhol and Britney Spears and wants nothing more than to be an art star. On Craigslist, Hailey unknowingly stumbles on an apartment sublet posted by a well-known thriller writer. Feeling as though they’ve won the lottery, the women move into the high-ceilinged pre-war flat. Soon they realize that their landlady, Beatrice, who is supposed to be on a residency in Vienna, is watching them–and her next book appears to be based on their lives. Taking stock of their mundane routines–Law and Order binges and nightly nachos–Hailey insists they become people worthy of a novel. As the year unravels and events spiral out of control, they begin to wonder whose story they are living, and how will it end?

Other People’s Clothes is brilliant on the sometimes dangerous intensity of female friendships, on millennial life in the city, on the lengths people will go to in order to eradicate emotional pain.

she is beautiful but no Helen of Troy-she’d be lucky to launch a singular kayak

I must convince that this book was initially a cover buy. I saw it on a display stand when I was in Glasgow and the cover just spoke to me. Then I read the blurb and thought that this would be a book that I would absolutely love. Part me was correct! I did love this book and found myself just devouring it with zero restraint.

This book took place in Berlin during the 00s which was only a couple of years before I visited Berlin. Although my experience of the city included way more Roller Derby and museums and way less exclusive clubs. I am a huge fan of reading books set in either the 90s or 00s, perhaps because these were the decades where I feel like I did most of my growing up (both physically and mentally). There’s something so nostalgic about these time periods for me so if a book is set during either of these times, I will probably want to read it.

This book was a prime example of how I can enjoy a book without liking any of the characters. Zoe and Hailey were pretentious, egotistical, and just entitled. Yet, oddly familiar. I know I met people like them when I was in university, I probably had elements of them in myself at that period of my life too. I didn’t like the characters but I liked reading about their progressively wilder and wilder escapades.

The language of this book was also just so nostalgic. While reading this, I couldn’t help but be reminded of dialogue from some well loved films from my youth. Not because of the words but the way that they were spoken. This book could easily have been read by Natasha Lyonne, Winona Ryder, or Kirsten Dunst. This was a book that I would absolutely love to see turned into a Netflix adaptation. Although, I’m still content to just have it as a novel.

The plot seemed like it grew arms and legs just so quickly. It really did get more and more over the top. I loved how just over the top the book was at times. Zoe and Hailey were obsessed with watching Criminal Minds, and I could see that from their lives. The drama that they got caught up in was just so thrilling to read.

For me, a huge part of my enjoyment came from both the nostalgia and the wild plot. When the twist came, I was genuinely flabbergasted. I just didn’t have any idea what direction the book was going to take and I was hooked. I stayed up late because I needed to finish the last few chapters, there was no way I could have slept without knowing what happened.

This book was a slower start for me, it took about three chapters to get into it as there was quite a bit of set up. As soon as the students reached the Berlin apartment, I was hooked though and barely put this book down.

This book had an underlying theme of obsession which was just so wonderfully conveyed! Zoey was grieving for the loss of her best friend and started to almost morph into her. This I found to be so relatable, I know that I started wearing my sister’s clothes after she passed away (we had very different styles but both loved a good piece of knitwear). So I felt that this part of grief was tackled really well. I also enjoyed reading about Zoe’s obsession with Hailey but also Hailey’s obsession with Zoe, fame, their landlord. I just absolutely applaud this book, I read this a few weeks ago and haven’t stopped thinking about it. I used almost an entire stack of tabs because there was so much fun dialogue that I wanted to come back to.

I’d also like to apologise to anyone who knew me between the ages of 16 and 21 because I related a little bit too much to these characters. Which I think means that I was just awful, I was definitely pretentious. Which was hilarious considering that just because I’d moved from somewhere with no traffic lights to the city and was going to free art shows, I thought I was special. I’m proud to say that Peebles now has multiple sets of traffic lights now.

Book Recommendation of the Month, Reviews

This Wicked Fate

How much would you risk to save the ones you love? Would you tempt even the most dangerous fate?

Briseis has one chance to save her mother, but she’ll need to do the impossible: find the last fragment of the deadly Absyrtus Heart. If she is to locate the missing piece, she must turn to the blood relatives she’s never known, learn about their secret powers, and take her place in their ancient lineage. Briseis is not the only one who wants the Heart, and her enemies will stop at nothing to fulfill their own ruthless plans. The fates tell of a truly dangerous journey, one that could end in more heartache, more death. Bolstered by the sisterhood of ancient magic, can Briseis harness her power to save the people she loves most?

I preordered this book last Autumn and have been excited about reading this since June when I finished This Poison Heart. When I saw that NetGalley had this, I took a chance and requested an advanced reader copy. I did not expect to get approved but I did and I devoured this book over a weekend because I refused to put it down. I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars. Perhaps 5 stars and a kidney. I absolutely adored this book and struggled to put my thoughts into words. I felt like words just couldn’t possibly convey just how much I utterly enjoyed this book. This Poison Heart was one of my favourite books of 2021 so my expectations of this book were high and they were exceeded!

This book picked up right where This Poison Heart ended. Reading the fall out from the ending of the previous book was utterly heartbreaking. Watching people try to make sense of what had just happened and what they faced really did make me feel as if no time had passed since my last reading. This is because their reactions and fears were so similar to my thoughts at the end of the previous book.

This book gave me many strong female characters, gorgeous family and found family moments, and a pretty epic quest. There were even more strong female characters than in the first book and I enjoyed the relationships between all of the established characters and these new characters (who I also loved). The quest seemed so daunting and I was so excited while following the journey.

Tied throughout the book were pieces of Greek mythology which I’m very into. I really enjoyed the way that mythology and history emerged with the current world. There were hints peppered throughout the book so I got to get really excited by that.

This book was not overly long, it was just a pretty standard paperback. Yet it felt like so many things happened. It felt quite epic!

This book was utterly magical and heartwarming and just glorious. I am such a huge fan of this series and it makes me think I could be interested in plants despite not even being able to keep a cactus alive. I just want more of this world and these characters. I don’t know if there will be more books in this series or if it is now finished but I would definitely read more books set in this world.

I also sobbed so much during the last 20% of the book that I soaked my cardigan because I wasn’t prepared to stop reading to go and get tissues. At one point I declared that I couldn’t see through my feelings because I had tear smudged glasses. I had all the feelings during this book; I was delighted, hopeful, distraught, angry. It was an emotional rollercoaster.

This book was utter perfection and Kalynn Bayron is now one of my autobuy authors as this is the third book that I’ve read by this author and the third 5 star read. I loved this so much

I feel like I may have found my favourite book of 2022. Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review. I look forward to receiving my physical copy in June, which I bought myself and despite having already read this I know for certain that I will be rereading this series for years and years.

Book Recommendation of the Month, Reviews

Under The Whispering Door

When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead.

Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over.

But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life.

When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

I’ve had this book since it was released last year as I preordered it the moment I heard about it. However after reading (and utterly adoring) The House in the Cerulean Sea last year, I was a little nervous about reading this book. I had loved my last TJ Klune so much and I still talk about it regularly, I was worried that I may not enjoy this book as much. I thought I may have set my expectations for TJ Klune too high. I shouldn’t have worried because I absolutely adored this book. This book made me just feel. I gave this book 5 shiny stars and it was my favourite read of January.

Grief and death are always a tough topics to include in book but I think that this book did a great job. With the topic of this book, there was a risk that it could have been a miserable read but it wasn’t. While the book was about death, it was also about hope. I found so many moments of sheer joy in this book. I already want to reread it!

I instantly got that Wallace was a horrible human being with no regard for other people, no empathy, he was such a nasty man. I really loved seeing him soften and realise the mistakes that he’d made and started to treat people like human beings. I think that his growth was just excellent and enjoyable to follow.

I loved Mei instantly! I loved the whole being a new reaper and making mistakes that Wallace would have seen as completely unacceptable. I loved how her relationship with Wallace grew especially after their initially awkward first meet. Her past was so sad but I loved that she used it to help her be a better reaper, I loved how protective she was and her passion towards scones was endearing.

Nelson was so funny! I loved how he played with Wallace and called him on his nonsense behaviour. I loved that he was like a guardian angel kind of ghost, teaching the ways to the newcomers. He made me laugh so much! I absolutely loved his reasons for staying at the tea shop, elderly characters are my secret weakness and I just loved him. He was an amazing grandfather and I’m going to have him as my fictional grandfather.

Hugo was adorable! He was a young man who had experienced pain and tried to use his experience to help others. He was so patient and kind but had his own battles. He just wanted to help and heal everyone even if it caused him pain. TJ Klune really knows how to write character than I love with my entire heart and I just wanted nothing but the best for Hugo!

I liked the hopefulness of this book. I didn’t feel like this was a book about the tea shop between the world of the living and whatever comes after we die, I felt a lot of joy reading this book. This was a very emotional read for me. While reading this I just kept thinking how much the people I’ve lost would have enjoyed a lovely tea shop before passing. As silly as it sounds, that gave me some peace

I ugly sobbed so hard during this book, the last few chapters took so long to read because reading through tears is difficult. I loved the characters so much and this book made me feel! When I say I sobbed, what I mean is that I open mouth sobbed and had to silence my tears with a t-shirt to prevent having to explain to the neighbours that I was hysterically sobbing at a book. This book joins the rank of books that I can’t describe the plot of without my eyes filling up (the list includes Atonement and Goodnight Mister Tom)

I thought that this book was just beautifully written and I was left feeling hopeful with a sort of sense of peace for those that have left us. I cannot even find the words to say how much I loved this book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read something heartwarming that leaves them feeling full of hope and happiness. However please be aware that this book does include death, suicide, murder, and death of a child so please take care of yourself.

Book Recommendation of the Month, Reviews


Susan had never hung up a stocking . She’d never put a tooth under her pillow in the serious expectation that a dentally inclined fairy would turn up. It wasn’t that her parents didn’t believe in such things. They didn’t need to believe in them. They know they existed. They just wished they didn’t.

There are those who believe and those who don’t. Through the ages, superstition has had its uses. Nowhere more so than in the Discworld where it’s helped to maintain the status quo. Anything that undermines superstition has to be viewed with some caution. There may be consequences, particularly on the last night of the year when the time is turning. When those consequences turn out to be the end of the world, you need to be prepared. You might even want more standing between you and oblivion than a mere slip of a girl – even if she has looked Death in the face on numerous occasions…

This was my first Terry Pratchett and it won’t be my last. This book gave me all the festive whimsy that I was looking for and I gave it 5 stars.

I totally appreciate that it may seem weird to choose the 20th book as my starting block but I was reliably informed that I could jump in at any point in the series and find my way. I did find myself wishing that I’d read another of the death books first as I did find myself to be a little disoriented at first but that may just be due to being new to the entire Discworld…world. This disorientation didn’t last long though.

This book was a wild ride from start to finish! It really read like an epic journey.

There were so many characters and each felt well rounded and interesting in their own way. My introduction to Susan was as a nanny wielding a crowbar, definitely a character I wanted to continue reading about. Death was definitely my favourite character! He was an absolute scamp and just wanted everyone to believe in the Hogfather. I do enjoy a festive read that encourages people to believe in magic and good things. I kept laughing every time Death said ‘Ho, Ho, Ho’.

The world building of this book was just magnificent! My knowledge of the Discworld prior to reading this book was literally based off of a one time play of the Discworld board game (7/8 years ago!). This book really did a great job at explaining the world and I was initially worried that I’d be lost but that wasn’t the case. I really did enjoy Death’s homestead.

This book really did have so many pieces of humour and I laughed so much during this read.

As weird as it sounds, this book really filled me with Christmas warm and fuzzies. It was such a heartwarming and entertaining read. I really enjoyed Death filling in for the Hogfather as the whole concept of a death figure posing as Santa sounded hilarious and it was. This book was surprisingly deep too as I honestly was’t sure what I was getting myself into.

I read a physical copy of this book with the audiobook accompanying me. I felt like that was the perfect way for me to enjoy this book as the narration was just perfect.

I already plan to read this book again, next December as I feel that I’ll get even more out of it in future reads. This book may make it onto my list of books that I reread every December! I’m very excited to find more Terry Pratchett books to read, especially the books with Death and Susan!

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.