By Author / Illustrator
Andersen Press Ltd
Paperback / softback
Seventeen-year-old Saoirse has finished with exams and is facing a long hot summer before uni. She plans to party, get drunk, watch horror movies and forget all her troubles by kissing girls. Ever since the breakupocalypse with her ex Hannah, she's been alone and angry, dealing with the hole left in her family by her sick mother's absence. Worse, Dad drops a bombshell: he's remarrying at the end of the summer. Enter the scene: Ruby, who might just be the prettiest girl Saoirse's ever seen. A romcom fan and a believer in true love, Ruby challenges cynical Saoirse to try a summer romance with the serious parts left out, just like in the movies. But what happens when the falling in love montage ends?
Shortlisted for the KPMG Children's Books Ireland Awards; Shortlisted for the An Post Irish Book Awards YA Book of the Year.
A true coming of age novel, this story follows one summer in the life of Saoirse. Her plan for the summer is to get over the loss of her ex, Hannah, by spending her time watching horror movies (the gorier the better), partying and snogging girls. She might have to contend with her nemesis Oliver, her Dad and his new girlfriend and Mum's declining health, but she intends to have a blast.
Once their exams are over, Oliver throws yet another of his immensely popular house parties. Whilst at the party, Saoirse encounters his cousin Ruby and things are never the same again. Ruby is a gorgeous girl, a huge romcom fan with an optimistic outlook on life, someone that Saoirse should steer away from, surely? She does not want another relationship whilst she has to focus on whether or not she will want to go to Oxford University if she gets the grades. Someone new will take her focus away from spending time with her mum who is now in a care home suffering from early onset dementia.
Eventually, the girls agree to give the relationship the summer and Ruby sets Saoirse a challenge - The Falling in Love Montage, a romance without the serious parts, and a lot like the romcoms Ruby loves to watch. She even adds in a list of all the romantic films Saoirse needs to watch.
As the reader becomes immersed in Saoirse's world, you get to understand her immense feelings of loneliness and anger at the world and the situation she finds herself in. She loves her dad but can she forgive him for the decision to put her mum in a home, to divorce and now to plan to remarry? Is she really over Hannah and the end of their relationship? What on earth is she going to do about university when her life is such a mess?
I felt the portrayal of the issue of dementia was carefully handled whilst managing to mirror the angst and helplessness not only of the sufferer but also their loved ones. A fantastic read which appeals to an audience of 14+.
383 pages/ Reviewed by Sharon Bolton, school librarian
Suggested Reading Age 14+