Friday Never Leaving by Vikki Wakefield, a Pre-Release Review

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Title: Friday Never Leaving
Author: Vikki Wakefield
Format: Hardcover and eBook
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 336
ISBN: 978-1442486522
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: YA – Teen – 14+
Stars: 5
Publish Date: 10 September, 2013
Pre-Order Now:  Amazon § Barnes&Noble § Publisher

About the Book:

In this wrenching, exquisite coming-of-age novel, Friday discovers what makes a family—and a home.

Friday Brown has never had a home. She and her mother live on the road, running away from the past instead of putting down roots. So when her mom succumbs to cancer, the only thing Friday can do is keep moving. Her journey takes her to an abandoned house where a bunch of street kids are squatting, and an intimidating girl named Arden holds court.

Friday gets initiated into the group, but her relationship with Arden is precarious, which puts Friday—and anyone who befriends her—at risk. With the threat of a dangerous confrontation looming, Friday has to decide between returning to her isolated, transient life, or trying to help the people she’s come to care about—if she can still make it out alive

Book Review:

As I was reading this book, all I wanted to do was save Friday: from her dreams, from her situation, just from it all. This was not an easy read, but it was unexpectedly hopeful and exquisitely detailed; full of emotional highs and lows, and set in the wilds of outback Australia. After completing this book: I can only say – read it. Younger or older – you should read this. Few will encounter a journey through trials and tribulation like this, and the perspective it brings to seeing your own troubles in a new light is truly refreshing.

Friday is a young girl in transition: smart, loyal and a bit lost and lonely after she abandons her grandfather’s home on her mother’s death. Lonely and a bit afraid, she makes a connection with a group of street kids who are squatting in an abandoned house. While each kid in this little family has their own story to tell, there is instant dislike between the de facto leader Arden and Friday. While she and Silence are deepening their friendship, a new and fleeting love interest appears in Wish. There are so many different characteristics built into these children and their appearances and personalities that each is a breathing being within the room as you come to know them. So vastly different in tastes, likes and dislikes – their one connection is the need to belong, and Arden fills the gap nicely with her rough around the edges loyalty and determination.

There are so many elements to love about this book: and so many to tear at your heart and bring you to tears, Wakefield has managed to touch on all sorts of darker issues and themes yet provide a story that provides hope even as you are mulling it over long after the last page is turned. Capturing moments so beautifully and organically that pictures just fly through your mind as you read, this is an author to watch for the pure beauty of her work and the characters she treats so gently despite their circumstance.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

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