Friday Brown

I found this on a bargain table and grabbed it, because it was a new-ish release and I'd heard nothing but good stuff about Vikki Wakefield. I haven't read her first novel, All I Ever Wanted, but judging from Friday Brown, all the rave reviews are justified. Wakefield's writing is strong and unsettling, her characters vivid and memorable. Friday Brown is a story in two parts. The first half finds the freshly grieving Friday adrift in the city, taken into a self-styled family of wounded, sometimes menacing street kids, where she finds herself increasingly out of her depth. In the second half, the tables are turned as the gang takes to the country where Friday's superior knowledge and confidence gives her the edge, and the means to survival.

I was a very sheltered teenager, and if I'd found myself in Friday's shoes, I can't imagine that I would ever have turned my back on the shelter of a concerned grandfather and taken to the streets. But hey, if everyone was like me, there'd be no stories (well, not stories like this). I always find this kind of gritty YA uncomfortable to read. But then, I guess that's the whole point of it.

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