Author(s): Eve Ainsworth
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
Publication date: 15th July 2019
Poppy’s having a nightmare at home. Her parents have split up and her mum’s new boyfriend is moving in. Dad is the one who’s always been there for Poppy, but now he’s drifting further and further away.
It seems like things can’t get any worse until it all goes wrong at school as well and Poppy finds herself being targeted by spiteful bullies. As the vicious online comments keep coming, who can Poppy turn to for help?Taken from Because of You
Meet Poppy. She’s having a rough time of it at the moment – her mum threw her dad out and then Richie moved in with his daughter, Kayla. If that weren’t enough to cope with, Poppy is facing awful cyberbullying as well as verbal and physical bullying at school. And it’s OK if her dad likes to wind down with a beer, even if he sometimes drinks too much – right?
Ainsworth does an amazing job in showing us how Poppy feels. Her anger, her disbelief, and lack of understanding of what’s happening around her. She doesn’t see that her mother was unhappy or why. But what we also see her is her capacity to understand, if only given the chance to do so. Many teenagers face the breakdown of their parents’ relationships and Because of You lays those challenges bare.
This book is aimed at teenagers and hits the mark perfectly for today’s teens. I, mercifully, was a teenager before the days of social media. We had MSN but only about four of us were on there and that was it; the capacity for cyberbullying was low. Today’s teens are living very different lives.
There are clear messages in this book: there are always people who will help and support you, and you do not have to deal with things alone. There is also a message for adults; if you think something is wrong, don’t brush over it. And talk to the teenagers in your life – they can’t understand the complexities of your life without you being transparent.
My only very slight grievance with this book is how often the female characters call each other ‘bitch’. This is a term very much up for debate but the upshot is that it makes me uncomfortable and my personal preference would be for the characters not to use this term in this context.
That being said, I think this is a solid book from Ainsworth and would highly recommend it to younger teenagers. As it’s from Barrington Stoke, the format of the book is dyslexia-friendly to appeal to a broader range of readers.
Many thanks to Barrington Stoke for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
You can support your local bookshop by buying Way of the Waves through them directly, or via Hive.
What do you think of Because of You? Will you be reading it? Let me know in the comments below.