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REVIEW: We Are Young by Cat Clarke

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Today's review is of a gritty contemporary that I definitely recommend. Read on to find out why! 

We Are YoungTitle: We Are Young
Author: Cat Clarke
Series:  n/a
Pages:  384
Publisher: Quercus Books
Date of Publication: 3rd May, 2018
Source: Bought
Synopsis from Goodreads: On the same night Evan's mother marries local radio DJ 'Breakfast Tim', Evan's brand-new step-brother Lewis is found unconscious and terribly injured, the only survivor of a horrific car crash.

A media furore erupts, with the finger of blame pointed firmly at stoner, loner Lewis. Everyone else seems to think the crash was drugs-related, but Evan isn't buying it. With the help of her journalist father, Harry, she decides to find out what really happened that night.

As Evan delves deeper into the lives of the three teenagers who died in the crash, she uncovers some disturbing truths and a secret that threatens to tear her family - and the community - apart for ever...


My Thoughts:
I haven't read any Cat Clarke books for a long time, so I was excited to get back to this great author. The mystery of what really happened at the car crash attracted my attention immediately and so I had high hopes when I went in. The mystery is slow, it builds up one clue at a time and before I knew it I'd read 100 pages and I was absolutely hooked.

I love how real Cat Clarke's books are. She doesn't shy away from any topic, and I was struck while I was reading with how realistic it was; I could imagine the same thing happening at my school, and people having the same conversations and the same news stories and the same rumours flying about and getting passed around. Cat is so perceptive and she really understands teenagers, and it's extremely refreshing to read, if a little hard-hitting at times.

I really liked the characters, particularly Evan. She was flawed and she made mistakes, but she was put in difficult situations and she reacted in a way that I'm sure most people would. What she goes through is difficult to read at times*, yet she keeps going and she's determined to find out the truth and to honour the victims of the car crash. I loved how this determination helped to rebuild her broken relationship with her dad, and how she learned a lot and developed as the book went on. The plot is obviously important, but the book is also very character driven, which is great.

We Are Young handles difficult topics with sensitivity and professionalism, while still remaining realistic and genuine. I was drawn in by the mystery of what really happened at the car crash, but kept captivated by the characters and the honesty of Cat's voice. If you're looking for a story with a good plot and great characters, then there isn't a better choice than We Are Young. 


*trigger warning: domestic abuse, suicide, mental health, self-harm, drugs



Have you read We Are Young? Which Cat Clarke title should I try next? 

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