This is a story of friendship, family and overcoming adversity. Written in the form of MSN Messenger exchanges and emails, Annie Try’s novel tells the story of Cass who, following a horrific car accident, has to come to terms with the loss of an eye and severe facial scarring.
Cass is helped by her friend Em who is also having difficulties with her foster family and biological mother. Throw into the mix the usual issues like bullying, coursework, exams and boys and you have a realistic portrayal of teenage life.
Although I felt the possibility of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder could have been explored more fully, Try gets away with it because the first-person narrative allows her to say what the girls want to say – and omit what they may be holding back. These two girls make me remember what it felt like to be at school, thinking that everything that happened on any given day could potentially affect the rest of my life – but for Em and Cass that may actually be true.
The character of Cass’s shady “boyfriend” is written well – he’s so edgy and elusive and Try’s portrayal of him gives the reader a great insight into how confused Cass must be feeling.
It’s an original and insightful read.
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