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Friday, 19 September 2014

Book Review: Fifteen and Screaming - Fleur Beale

First published 1995
Harper Collins Publishers (New Zealand) Limited
Copyright © Fleur Beale 1995
**** - 4 Stars
I have to admit, I got this book among 23 others that I picked up for a dollar from my library at school and didn't have high hopes for it. It's almost 20 years old and didn't look to be much.
I was - however - pleasantly surprised by this book. It has a lot more to offer than you would think and it just goes to show that the phrase 'don't judge a book by its cover' is always a good thing to keep in mind when reading books.
Fifteen and Screaming by Fleur Beale is a New Zealand based book by a New Zealand author and tells the story of 14 year old Elizabeth Marianne Pratt (or 'Lily') who has responsibility thrust suddenly upon her when her mother becomes seriously ill.
Living on benefits, Lily has to learn to take care of her 7 year old sister, learn to cook, clean, manage money problems and care for her mother - all the while dealing with normal teen problems such as having freedom, going to party's, sex, friend problems and keeping up with her school work, making life very difficult and stressful for such a young girl.
When I was reading this, I couldn't help thinking that I am almost to the stage of my life where I will be moving out of my family home and living by myself, paying bills, going to University, etc., and I don't think I would be able to cope with and face the struggles that a 14 year old does in this book. It also reminded me that this is not at all unrealistic. There are many young adults and children all over the world that have to take on these responsibilities because they have parents who can't.
Not only is this book well written, but it also highlights some very good points and was a really enjoyable read. I highly recommend this book!!
4/5 stars for Fleur Beale.

Where you can buy this book...