by Non Pratt
Published: 4th June 2015
Publisher: Walker Books
Kaz is still reeling from being dumped by the love of her life… Ruby is bored of hearing about it. Time to change the record.
Three days. Two best mates. One music festival. Zero chance of everything working out.
When I heard there was another novel by Non Pratt about to be released to the world, I immediately pre-ordered it and eagerly waited for it to be delivered. It’s safe to say I was a big fan of Trouble, and it made my top 10 books of 2014 without question. There was something about the refreshing realism in that novel that drew me to this author.
I began reading this book on the way to Liverpool, and that train journey went by ridiculously quickly and I realised I’d made quite the dent in reading it. The same feelings I felt about the author, when reading Trouble, came flooding back and I fell in love with this book. Unfortunately, I had to put the book down for a little while whilst I read something else, but when I did get to pick it back up – I devoured this book in one sitting.
We follow two best friends, Kaz and Ruby, as they head off the an eagerly anticipated music festival. However, there are a lot of trials and tribulations that really test how strong their friendship is. What I loved most about this is that this book is mostly about the friendship between the two girls – and not solely on who they’re hooking up with. It’s a wonderful change of pace from the ‘girl dumps everyone to chase after boy’ scenarios we see so often. Their friendship reminds me a lot of my best friend Laura and how we can say whatever is on our mind so openly and candid – just like these two characters can. Kaz and Ruby’s banter, their inside jokes and most of all their sincere, heartfelt moments really tug at you, and you believe every single moment.
One thing I rate highly with this author is her ease with dialogue. I’ve read other YA contemporary novels recently and rolled my eyes at some of the situations or things that have been said because it just doesn’t feel authentic. Pratt’s use of language – some could argue, is too strong at times – is alarmingly realistic. It really does produce strong, pure characters that leap from the page, but most of all they’re relatable. Even the supporting characters are unique and well written. They each have a purpose and bring something different to the novel. I particularly liked to dislike Lauren, and watch how the girls interact with her. I enjoyed all of the drama with the boys, and the groups laugh out loud antics as they engage with the festival.
I read this book on the hottest day of the year here in England, and frankly I think this book is the perfect choice for a summer read. The setting of the festival screams summer, and I can practically smell the sun cream (granted, at a festival it’s probably mixed with sweat – but we’ll ignore that). I loved imagining this festival, and especially loved all of the band names! Side note – there are tons of Harry Potter references throughout the novel that made me smile too. Also, the front and back covers are really impressive. I like how the blurb was stylised to look like a festival line up.
Overall, I’m thrilled to say I was overwhelmed with love for this book. Its realistic dialogue and plot, along with the relatable characters and festival madness, really make this book a page turner. I’m now highly anticipating this author’s next novel. If it’s anything like the last two – I can definitely say she would be one of my favourite authors.
Highly recommend this book. Fantastic summer read.