There’s no mistaking what the trouble is in Non Pratt’s book. On the cover a whole bunch of teeny sperm are swimming for the O in the middle of the title. Right, I thought, that’ll be gritty realism then. And sure enough here comes Hannah, 15 and not nearly discriminating enough when it comes to boys. At this point, the book’s a page-turner and there’s slightly more than enough of that gritty realism, and I’m wondering what’s going on with the second narrator, Aaron, new boy who’s trying to fit in without drawing too much attention to himself. Aha! It turns out that Hannah’s not the only one who’s in trouble.
I want to like this book. Non Pratt writes beautiful prose. She breathes life into each and every one of her characters. The plot is entertaining and when the unexpected turns up you find yourself going ‘of course that’s what happens next’. But. But, but but. There’s too much nastiness in Trouble for me to heartily recommend it. Bullying and bitching and shame may be real, and they do seem very real as Non Pratt writes them, but I could do with a little less of it. Nonetheless, I look forward to reading Non Pratt’s next book.
Shortlisted for the YA Book Prize