Piccadilly Love Stories: Don't Ask by Hilary Freeman
|Piccadilly Love Stories: Don't Ask by Hilary Freeman|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: Simply superb – contemporary fiction which looks at the way a lie can spiral and deals with some tough questions. Hilary was kind enough to talk to us.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 192||Date: February 2009|
|Publisher: Piccadilly Press Ltd|
|External links: Author's website|
Lily thinks of herself as being about a 6 out of 10 on the scale of hideous gargoyle to Brad Pitt and she knows her boyfriend Jack is an 8. So why would he want to be with her? Despite him seeming to be the perfect boy she's convinced there's something in his past and only gets more suspicious when he keeps clamming up about it. So when she finds his ex-girlfriend on a social networking site it seems like a great idea to create a fake profile and make friends with her. Is it worth telling this many lies just to find the truth?
Oh, wow. Words cannot begin to express how gripping this was. It's clear from almost the opening page that things went wrong for Lily, as she wearily states in her narration I'll make no excuses for what I've done, except to state that I simply couldn't help myself. Finding out exactly how her friendship with Alex developed and what he consequences of a snap decision to make friends with her was incredible, though, with a couple of really unexpected twists.
I thought that the 'friendship' between Lily and Alex, the relationship between her and Jack, and the way she started to drift apart from former best friend Katie were all handled brilliantly and realistically. I also found Lily herself to be a fascinating central character – she's clearly done something which is completely dishonest, but it's easy to see just how she gets swept along. Additionally, her voice was developed really well and I felt totally drawn into her character despite not necessarily liking her.
In addition to the superb characterisation and the gripping plot Freeman does a fantastic job of showing teens just how easy it is for someone on a social networking site to pretend to be someone else – a worthy point which never feels like she's preaching to the reader, but which may make a few kids think twice before accepting strangers on these things.
Massive recommendation here as one of my favourite teen books of the year so far.
Further reading suggestion: For another cautionary tale about the internet and its place in children's lives, I really enjoyed Comin 2 gt u by Simon Packham.
This review was kindly given to us by YaYeahYeah.
Hilary Freeman was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
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