Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Dear Dylan by Siobhan Curham

Publisher: Electric Monkey
Published: 28th March 2010
Pages: 288
A first crush. An unexpected friendship. A dream come true. 
Dear Dylan! Thanks so much for your email and I'm sorry about my last one when I said I love you. I hope you don't think I'm a weirdo mentalist?!!! It's just that I was watching Oprah yesterday and she said we should all say we love each other a whole lot more. Not to everyone of course. There's no way I'd tell my scummy step-dad that I love him because that would be lying. But the thing is, sometimes when I watch you on TV, I feel as if you're talking just to me and it makes me feel less alone. I know you probably get loads and loads of fan mail but I wanted to ask you - could we be e-mates? Yours hopefully, Georgie xxx.

I don't know what I expected to happen in this book but I'm glad it didn't! I was pleasantly surprised to find how easy it was to read and how touching the story was. An amazing teenage story of growing up and standing up for yourself. Made me wish I had this book a few years ago for inspiration!

I'll admit, I started this book thinking I would dislike Georgie, stupidly just because she was so easily fooled by Jessica and the generalised emails. But luckily, I got over her slightly annoying teenage angst and fell in love with her adorable personality. Only through emails, I found out so much about Georgie, her friends and family, her hopes and her fears. And I loved her! I am very aware of the difficulties of characterising through what is a very limited form of writing - I spent a year on Clarissa, trust me I know more about the epistolary genre than I'd like to! But the emails, and Siobhan's heartfelt and a little bit childish writing made Georgie and all those she described come to life. 

Much like Nan, I read Georgie's emails with bated breath, hoping that Jessica didn't ruin anything, that Tone-deaf didn't hurt anyone and that Jamie turned out to be the person I really wanted him to be. And even though I did not expect Nan at all, she was a lovely voice of reason, the perfect mother figure for Georgie to vent to when things went great or crap. And I wanted things to go great; if anyone deserves a good summer, it's Georgie. Putting up with an evil stepdad, a nearly-absent mother and all the drama with her friends, I felt Georgie deserves a medal!

A beautifully written piece that spans teenage and adult issues alike. I couldn't get enough and cannot recommend it highly enough.

Many thanks to Siobhan who sent me a copy!

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