Sunday, 1 May 2016

YA Book Review: Plain Jane by Kim Hood

Author Kim Hood may be a relatively recent addition to the World of published authors, but having achieved international commendation for her debut novel, she quickly positioned herself as one to watch. Released in 2015, Finding A Voice, identified Kim as a fresh voice in the YA arena so we were excited to get our hands on her latest work, Plain Jane.

The Book Blurb reads:
At nearly 16, Jane has lived in the shadow of her little sister Emma’s cancer diagnosis for over three years. Nobody really cares that her life is stuck in neutral; she is finding it difficult to care herself ...

Our protagonist Jane is a 15 year old girl, living in a small town where everybody is familiar with everyone else's business. Nobody desires anything more than a regular life in their sleepy town and they don't even seem to realise that more exists.  

When we meet Jane, her sister Emma has been sick for a number of years and Jane feels like the silent victim, the forgotten child, but she hates herself for even having these feelings. Jane hides away at her boyfriend Dell's house as her life trickles by and it seems to her like years have been eaten by her sister's illness. But one day, Jane meets someone new to town, Farley, he's refreshingly different and may be the tonic she needs. 

Plain Jane is written in an interesting format, structured like a grand musical composition, Kim artfully builds the story from a gentle melody to a frantic crescendo. This story is told with a raw, brutal honesty that was in turns, shocking, heartbreaking and eye opening. Prepare to be completely immersed in Jane's story as she battles not only her sister's illness but shadows from her past, and a frightening new attack on her very being. Plain Jane is brave storytelling, and gives a voice to topics which are rarely discussed out loud. 

Plain Jane is suitable for ages 12 and up and is available in bookstores across Ireland now for €8.99. Published by The O'Brien Press, you can find out more about the book on their website here.
Thank you to the O'Brien Press for sending us this book to review!

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