‘Books can save anyone. If they’re the right ones.’
Meet Tiny and Nola. Two very different girls with two very different stories who are just trying to find a place to belong. A powerful and compelling novel about friendship, love and acceptance.
Everyone has a story.
Tiny is an eighteen-year-old girl living on the streets in Sydney, running from her small-town past. At a temporary homeless shelter, she meets Nola, a high school student on volunteer placement. Both girls share their love of words through the Hope Lane writing group. Can they share their secrets, too?
Told through the eyes of both Tiny and Nola as they negotiate their way through homelessness, shifting friendships, betrayals, addiction and a little bit of romance, Because of You explores the vastly different coming-of-age stories of two girls who are learning to find their individual strengths
Wow ~ Pip Harry's latest novel Because of You felt real and, by the end, it took my breath away. I read because I love being transported into another time and place, into another persons shoes, and I love being pulled into and swept up into a story. But occasionally, a book will come along that ends up being more than just a good entertaining read, and it leaves me feeling moved. Because of You is one of those books that resonates long after the last page and has transformative power to challenge a readers viewpoint and empathy.
Things to love about Because of You:
- the budding friendship between Tiny and Nola was so refreshing, tentatively organic and precious. I love how they both made mistakes and needed forgiveness (from others and themselves) and how, despite their different circumstances, they had more in common than they would've first thought.
- awesome parents (who are brilliant characters in conjunction with complicated relationships and issues).
- writing group ~ writing and books and reading and creativity and finding your voice ~ all this is celebrated and adds a fun dynamic with bursts of humour and unexpected treasure
- some gorgeous, really affecting and powerful snippets of writing from the writing group. I loved the poetry and humour and was absolutely floored by the honest and captivating writing the characters shared. Harry, through the voices of her characters, was able to capture emotion beautifully in so few words <3
- hidden backstories and surprises, with tender and heartbreaking reveals. Nothing is as black and white as things may first seem.
- a real mix of unique characters, both teen and adult, to care for ~ all with their own voice and story
- a really inspirational and smiley climax and resolution ~ which just had me beaming from the inside out
Harry has nailed the art of letting her characters breathe life into the themes so that the message of the novel is fresh and authentic, never wandering into didactic or saccharine territory. Because of You is an absolute gem of a novel ~ hopeful and true, timely and challenging, with a genuine powerhouse message of empathy and resilience. I fell in love with the characters, and will be wholeheartedly recommending it to the teens and adults in my life.
My reviews for Pip Harry's previous novels:
Because of you @ UQP (incl. Teacher's Notes)
Many thanks to UQP for my review copy :)