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Summary

Yasmin would give anything to have a friend... and do anything to keep one.

The first time I saw you, you were standing at the far end of the playing field. You were looking down at your brown, straggly dog, but then you looked up, your mouth going slack as your eyes clocked her. Alice Taylor. I was no different. I used to catch myself gazing at the back of her head in class, at her silky, fair hair swaying between her shoulder blades.

If you'd glanced just once across the field, you'd have seen me standing in the middle on my own, looking straight at you, and you'd have gone back through the trees to the path quick, tugging your dog after you. You'd have known you'd given yourself away, even if only to me.

But you didn't. You had eyes only for Alice. Sue Townsend meets Zoë Heller in this dark, twisted, and heartbreakingly vulnerable tale.

©2015 Tasha Kavanagh (P)2015 Audible, Ltd

Critic reviews

"A striking and highly enjoyable debut." (Sophie Hannah)

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Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thoroughly enjoyed - and never listening to it again!

What about Katy Sobey’s performance did you like?

Katy Sobey catches the narrator's voice perfectly. An oh-so-ordinary teenage near singsong which adds to the novel's chill, the steady, unvarying pace of which drives the listener mad as it jogs towards the story's end.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Shock. I originally bought this audiobook to have something to listen to while I knit during my journey to and from work. I really wasn't expecting what I got. At the end of the book I sat on the top deck of the no. 341 bus, gazing unseeingly out of the window, my knitting a complete tangle in my lap. I'm undoing the entire ruddy jersey at the moment!

Any additional comments?

A heartbreaking, twisty tale of the unexpected. I shall be watching this writer's career with interest and picking up her future books with some trepidation...

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kaggy
  • United Kingdom
  • 15-10-15

A deeply dangerous love

If you think this is yet another story of a fat isolated teenager who is misunderstood at home and bullied at school - think again. Yasmin is all these things, but she is also intelligent, cunning and strangely innocent. Her mother and new stepfather struggle to understand her. Their familial relationship is strained because Yasmin is difficult and unwilling to conform by losing weight and making herself more attractive. She harbours resentment about her father's death, but is unable to express her feelings and so her only outlet is to fantasise about a beautiful classmate. The fantasies however are dangerous and twisted and as the story progresses she begins to seek love and fulfilment in much darker places.

I was absolutely gripped to the very end and indeed the very last sentence which brilliantly draws the story to a chilling conclusion.

Katy Sobey is an excellent narrator, delivering the story with economy but great skill. This is a first class listen and one I am thoroughly recommending.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome

Five stars doesn't do this tale justice , you get sucked in and held there , don't know what to do now , may just go back and listen all over again

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting story

Good narration and an interesting story with a twist in the tale. I expected a different ending though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Not what you think it is

I don't know what I expected from this book but this wasn't it. The story didn't go in the direction I expected to take. The writer had me fully immersed into Yasmin's 15 year old mind, which was innocent but also extremely clever and insightful about the people around her. This book crossed boundaries that I didn't expect it to cross and Yasmin made decisions that I felt went against most people's feelings of morale right and wrong, but seeing the world through her head you could understand why she made the choices she did.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Very strange and annoying but compulsive listening

Any additional comments?

The narrator was excellent as the young girl. However, it was so hard to listen to the main character's foolish need for attention and love. Had she come from a "bad" home, one may have had some sympathy but the schoolgirl crush and imagination were taken to extremes. I had to listen to the end because I was hoping something would make her come to her senses. A strange book without a satisfactory conclusion.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful