FICTION

You Have To Make Your Own Fun Around Here

Oneworld. Aug. 2020. 288p. Tr $25.95. ISBN 9781786077653.
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Gr 9 Up–Katie, Evelyn, and Maeve have been friends since childhood in a small, sleepy Irish town. They ramble through hot endless summers, dreaming up plans for the future. Evelyn, elegant and rich, is always the leader; homely Maeve, the loser; while Katie floats in the middle. It seems life will never change, until Pamela moves to town and the girls waver between friendship and jealousy. Pamela disappears one day, but after months of searching the case is abandoned. Though life seems to go back to normal for the girls, something has changed, and there is a new tension in their relationship. Narrator Katie subtly draws herself as the more moral and courageous of the girls, but reality does not always bear this out. Macken writes with great insight into the psyches of the girls and their complicated relationship. Small town life is shown with all its hidden anger and jealousies; some petty and small, others cumulative and leading to much greater expressions—perhaps even murder. The characters’ races are not specified.
VERDICT This evocative, tense, and poignant coming-of-age story will grip readers with its hard dose of reality. Give this to fans of Amy Zhang’s This is Where the World Ends and Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends.

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