Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Finding Cherokee Brown by Siobhan Curham

His lips touched mine and for one split second the whole world stopped.
Then every cell in my body fizzed into life . . .

When I decided to write a book about my life I thought I'd have to make loads of stuff up. I mean, who wants to read about someone like me?

But as soon as I started writing, the weirdest thing happened. I found out I wasn't who I thought I was. And I stopped being scared. Then everything went crazy!

Best of all, I discovered that when you finally decide to be brave it's like waving a wand over your life - the most magical things can happen . . .

Claire is very bored and unhappy with her life; her mum and step-dad don't understand her, she is being bullied at school and her best friend has moved away, leaving her alone. Then a surprise birthday birthday card from her father changes everything. She discovers how she has been lied to, her real name and a connection with her dad.

There was amazing character development with Cherokee; her desire to write and accidentally finding her biological father makes her want to change. And apart from a drastic haircut, it's all internal, which I find very important for how she changes the way she sees herself. Her father is the most important influence, with was refreshing. Yes there is a cute boy in the mix and Cherokee does want to be better for him but it's not her driving force. She wants to change for herself, which is commendable and quite rare in YA. Plus her dad learns some things about himself, as he quickly becomes a proper father, looking after his daughter in everything. He was very eager to be a part of Cherokee's life but at times you could tell it was too much and I was worried he'd run off again. Luckily there was a happy ending.

I very much identified with Cherokee being bullied; it is a horrible feeling, being victimised, tortured somewhere you're supposed to be safe. The threats she got were at the extreme end of the scale but I could completely empathizes with her feelings of helplessness and the need to run away. I was however incredibly impressed with the bravery she finds to face her bullies by telling the school what has been happening. It astounded me that the faculty had no idea how cruel some of the students were.

An amazing story of discovering and being true to yourself, with some pretty awesome characters that also have some things to learn. Cherokee is a great heroine, a normal girl with normal problems, who manages to overcome the trials of life by becoming stronger than she thought she could be. A girl who everyone should aspire to be more like.

Published 4th March 2013 by Egmont Electric Monkey.

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