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Summary

Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2022!

A Cosmopolitan, BBC, Stylist, Daily Mail, Good Housekeeping and Guardian Best Book Pick for 2021! 

Sometimes it's easy to fall between the cracks....

At 3.04 p.m. on a hot, sticky day in June, Bess finds out she's pregnant. 

She could tell her social worker Henry, but he's useless. 

She should tell her foster mother, Lisa, but she won't understand.

She really ought to tell Boy, but she hasn't spoken to him in weeks. 

Bess knows more than anyone that love doesn't come without conditions.

But this isn't a love story.... 

©2021 Kirsty Capes (P)2021 Orion Publishing Group

Critic reviews

"The literary equivalent of gold dust." (Benjamin Zephaniah)

'Astounding. Heart-breaking but hopeful, and a fresh new voice." (Pandora Sykes)

"Moving and beautifully written." (Libby Page)

"Made me laugh and cry in equal measure." (Good Housekeeping)

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What listeners say about Careless

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
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Unmissable read

I honestly was not too sure at the beginning thinking this book would be a bit young for me and more a “young Readers” book. How wrong was I. I can not fault this book one bit. From being fully immersed in to the characters like I really know them. The author has made these characters really come alive and I felt Bess’s worries , thoughts ,pain and achievements. It threw me back to when I was 15/16 and all the mixed experiences we go through. There is raw truth and honest in this book and also highlighting children in the system which rarely gets written about. I loved this book and the narrator was fantastic is expressing exactly how Bess would have felt.
Thank you

3 people found this helpful

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Wonderfully written and read

The story is brilliant and Amber reads it perfectly. I would listen to it again.

3 people found this helpful

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Wonderful story read beautifully

Careless is a powerful look at the lived realities of young people in foster care, but most importantly it is driven by its wonderful characters. Capes writes her characters so vividly, I instantly fell in love with Bess and Eshal. The narrator is a true talent, she animates Bess' wit, her wry humour and her boldness as a character, but also Bess' insecurity, and the pain that she tries her best to conceal. She really was Bess. Amber Gadd's voice breathes so much life into the characters - the stakes feel palpable and she effortlessly captures the playfulness of Capes' writing and characters. Capes' words and Gadd's voice gel together so perfectly that I feel like Bess is a friend of mine, and I was rooting for her throughout. The characters are so well-realised and so well-performed that I caught myself smiling at something they had said, or worried about what might happen to them, while getting on with my day. Can't recommend highly enough!

2 people found this helpful

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brilliantly narrated

gripped! was rooting for Bess all the way through. Narrator brought the character to life .

2 people found this helpful

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Rubbish

struggled with it and gave up, it was so depressing and boring. waste of money

1 person found this helpful

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If you loved Queenie

I really enjoyed this book, I'd love to hear more from Bess in the future.

1 person found this helpful

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Can’t remember a book made me weep

An extraordinary book, beautifully written. Gut-punching raw, utterly perfect. I wish I could read it for the first time again.


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Insight into the care experience

Makes you think we must do better for children
Enjoyed the story -made me sad frustrated and left me with hope for Bess for a happier future

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Great book

Describing the failings of the UK care system through the story of a teenage girl in foster care. She dreams of being a film maker so the descriptions are wonderfully visual, can imagine this being turned into a movie itself in the vein of Kidulthood.

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A satisfying read

A coming of age story via the care system articulately written by Kirsty Capes and superbly read and performed by Amber Gadd. Amber’s reading really brought this story to life for me. Any one involved in young adults’ lives will thoroughly enjoy this book.