Thursday 4 August 2016

Book Review: How Not to Disappear - Clare Furniss*

I am still really enjoying reading and reviewing books so when I was given the opportunity to read ‘How not to Disappear’ by Clare Furniss, I couldn’t wait to add this to my reading collection. The book is centred around the main character Hattie and her experiences during the summer. Her two best friends have gone out of town and Hattie has just discovered she is pregnant. As if that isn’t shocking enough news she then finds out she has a long lost great-aunt Gloria. The story then follows Hattie and Gloria getting to know one another and sharing secrets on a road trip of self-discovery.

This book did leave me wanting to know more and was easy to read. I started reading this whilst in the middle of a house move but I  found it really easy to pick up again and get straight back into the story. The story is written from two points of view and this is clearly shown by a change in font. The main bulk of the story is from Hattie’s view however we often get snippets from Gloria’s side too which helps the story flow and answers some of the questions that occurred. Although these two people were of different ages their lives were very similar and I can see how they both relate to each other.

Although this book is marketed at the young adult age range, there are some mature themes running through and any adult would also happily relate to what is going on in the story. Gloria suffers from dementia but the book also explores alcoholism, teenage pregnancy, domestic violence and rebelling at a young age. I really got a feel for the characters and what they were like and found myself really invested in their storylines as the book went on. Hattie and Gloria are complex and diverse characters with flaws and both good and bad life experiences and the way this was written really helps you get into their minds.

Throughout the book we find out a lot about Hattie but it takes a lot longer to find out Gloria’s secret. I kept guessing and had a version of the story in my head so when I got to the end I was really shocked. I found myself getting goose bumps as I read the final chapters and it wasn’t what I expected. I love it when a book does that to me and I was a bit sad that it was over.

This is the second novel Clare Furniss has written following on from her debut novel ‘The Year of The Rat’. I always desire to read further novels when I really enjoy a book so I will be trying to see if I can track this down and read it too as I really do like the way Clare writes her stories.

If you are into teen fiction or would just like an easy read I would really recommend this book. I have now passed it onto my teenage sister as I think she will really enjoy it. If you are on the fence, I would seriously consider watching the trailer.

You can buy it from Waterstones here. Have you read any books lately?

*I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced in any way.

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