- Published: May 14th 2015, Indigo
- Pages: 304 pages, hardback
- Standalone/Series: Standalone
- Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads): Ashleigh Walker is in love. You know the feeling – that intense, heart-racing, all-consuming emotion that can only come with first love. It’s enough to stop her worrying about bad grades at college. Enough to distract her from her parents’ marriage troubles. There’s just one thing bothering her…
Shouldn’t it be her boyfriend, Dylan, who makes her feel this way – not Miss Murray, her English teacher?
My Review: The UKYA community is buzzing about the latest release from Liz Kessler and, for once, the book in question is wholeheartedly deserving of the hype surrounding it. Her first YA release and a novel that has been a long time coming, Read Me Like A Book is an absolute smash hit and I’m so excited to see everybody’s reactions to the story after it’s released next week.
Ash is going through a difficult time in her life – her parents’ relationship has hit a rocky patch, she’s not doing so well at school and she’s confused by the blossoming feelings she has towards her English teacher, Miss Murray. Ash exploring her sexuality and discovering who she really is are two of the main themes of the novel, which also deals with friendship and sex, amongst other issues that the vast majority of readers will be able to relate to. What makes this such a powerful novel is that everybody can resonate with Ash, whether or not you’ve gone through her precise situation or not. She’s a well-rounded, likeable (if, at times, frustrating!) character, who leaps off the page with personality, charm and flaws like any living, breathing person.
Kessler deals with such a wide range of emotions and each one is executed perfectly – whether we’re laughing along with Ash and Cat, or brought to tears as Ash finally comes to accept her true self, we feel something on every page of the book and that’s a truly remarkable feat. It’s all too common for books that deal with ‘issues’ to feel preachy and start to read like a textbook with an agenda, but that’s never the case here. Ash’s story feels natural and manages to strike the delicate balance of being entertaining as well as informative, and also have a strong message at its core.
Ash goes on a fantastic journey throughout Read Me Like A Book and it’s a joy to go along for the ride. A story that truly deserves to have its message shouted from the rooftops, Read Me Like A Book will make you laugh, cry and maybe even learn a little something about yourself – and that’s a pretty good combination, if you ask me.