Blurb from Goodreads
The Breakfast Club meets One Day in Floored, a unique collaborative novel by seven bestselling and award-winning YA authors: Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson and Eleanor Wood.
When they got in the lift, they were strangers (though didn’t that guy used to be on TV?): Sasha, who is desperately trying to deliver a parcel; Hugo, who knows he’s the best-looking guy in the lift and is eyeing up Velvet, who knows what that look means when you hear her name and it doesn’t match the way she looks, or the way she talks; Dawson, who was on TV, but isn’t as good-looking as he was a few years ago and is desperately hoping no one recognizes him; Kaitlyn, who’s losing her sight but won’t admit it, and who used to have a poster of Dawson on her bedroom wall, and Joe, who shouldn’t be here at all, but who wants to be here the most.
And one more person, who will bring them together again on the same day every year.
This is a collaborative UK Young Adult novel written by seven authors: Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson and Eleanor Wood. The story starts with six teenagers, strangers to each other who are from all different walks of life, that each get into the one lift (elevator) in a TV broadcasting house and then share an experience that connects them all to each other for years to come.
I really enjoyed this book. Initially I was wondering how so many authors could come together and write a story that didn’t feel choppy or have sub-plots that didn’t blend well with the over-riding theme etc. but this was incredibly cohesive! In fact I found it to be seamless with regards to my complete inability at being able to discern precisely which author was writing which character. Although I had my suspicions about some characters because of my familiarity with the authors’ previous works. Yet each character’s viewpoint felt thoroughly distinct while also sharing enough similarity of humour and writing style that the narrative had the most wonderfully easy flow.
But most of all what I loved about this book was the diversity of the characters’ personalities with each one having a unique (even if sometimes clichéd) identity.
Kaitlyn was fiercely spunky but underneath that bravado was someone a lot more insecure and dealing with a major life changing disability.
Sasha was so quiet and the glue that held everyone together but showed how the quiet, stoic ones are in need of as much friendship as anyone else.
Velvet was insecure about everything and judged herself by how others judged her.
Hugo was the quintessential rich boy desperately trying to prove he’s more than another cliché.
Dawson was famous for a while but struggling with no longer being a cute child-star and coming out again.
And Joe who was just too nice for his own good!
I think what’s wonderful about this cast of characters is that every reader will be easily able to choose their favourite or the one that they see aspects of themselves in but will still be able to enjoy reading about each of the others because every single character is relatable in some way. Yes there are some stereotypes and predictable plot outcomes but there are genuine issues, social problems and awkward situations in this book that many people have to deal with in their lives that are utterly normalised by this book. Including issues surrounding love and relationships, grief, disability, education, familial illness, money problems, struggles with being LGBTQ+ and most importantly how the characters cope with that transition from adolescence to adulthood.
This book came together to create a fast paced reading experience with lots of hilarious moments and some sad ones too. But most of all this was a book with memorable and relatable characters that were highly enjoyable to read about.
An e-copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher, Pan Macmillan / Macmillan Children’s Books, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Read June 2018
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