Caddy has never had a ‘significant life event’. Her sister has, her best friend Rosie has, but she’s just plain ordinary. She works hard at at her rich, private school (although it never seems to pay off enough and she’s sure her parents are always disappointed with her results), engages in freezing cold picnics at the beach and lounges around on Tumblr.
And then she meets Suzanne, or, more accurately, her best friend Rosie meets Suzanne. And she just can’t help it: what she feels is jealousy. Suzanne is gorgeous and funny and literally perfect in every way. Rosie and Suzanne seem to get along so well together, even attending the same comprehensive while Caddy is stuck at her uniform-ed private school. They even go together to house parties that Caddy wants to no part of, and just seem to get each other. Caddy is terrified that her one real friend, the friend she has had since they were tiny, will soon be lost to her.
It never occurred to her that she might be the one to make a new best friend, that she might ever prioritise Suzanne over Rosie. It just never occurred to her how much Suzanne could possibly come to mean to her.
As the days go on Caddy realises that the perfect idea she had of Suzanne was completely false – that Susanne has a horrible past, that she is a complex but amazing person – a beautiful, broken thing. And Caddy wants to be with her, to follow her out when she needs someone to be with her, to take the risks with her she needs to take. Caddy wants to save Suzanne, but she’s not sure that’s really possible.
This book is beautiful and it had us ugly-crying, heart in throat, at certain points. We started off unsure of particular characters but by the end we were firmly in love and just wanted to gather up everyone and protect them from all the evils of the world. You cannot help but relate to all three of the main characters at one point or another, whether it’s in trying to balance out awkward conversations, juggling tense relationships with parents or being in situations you’re not quite sure you belong in, but also not quite sure you don’t want to belong in.
Ultimately this is a fantastic depiction of female friendship, through its highs and lows. Sara Barnard knows that the people you meet as a teenager can change you forever and she depicts that powerful connection between young women as skillfully as it is possible to.
Grab a copy of Sara Barnard’s fab debut HERE.
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