Title: Inbetween Days
Author: Vikki Wakefield
What's it about?
This story focuses on Jack (she's a girl) who is living with her sister after leaving home. She is in love with Luke who sees her more of a booty call and then decides to hook up with another guy, Jeremiah, even though she doesn't feel anything for him. Throw in a cat, dog and a score of other characters and that is the story.
This book contains swearing (f-word), mild-sex scenes, underage smoking and drinking.
The fact that I wrote "Nothing" in the embrace section probably tells you a lot so now I will explain. I read this book as it is shortlisted for Book Week 2016 in the Older Readers category. I am not impressed and honestly don't know where to start with what is wrong with the book so please forgive me if I ramble a bit as my thoughts are typed. This book was very hard work to read. I was not engaged and ended up skimming the book and still got the general gist of what was going on.
To me this "contemporary YA novel" is trying too hard to be...well, contemporary. It's like watching those dreadful American teen series where everyone is having sex, breaking rules, and there are no real consequences for any of it.
The story has far too many characters and none, including Jack, are well developed. By the end of the first chapter I didn't like Jack, I didn't like her sister, I didn't like Astrid, I didn't like Luke...you get the picture. There was no depth to any of these characters - I truly didn't care about any of them. This novel needed to be seriously edited to take out some of the side stories going on and better develop Jack's story and make the character connect with the reader.
The plot is...well to me this story just rambles like a 14 year old's diary about what she thinks it is like to be 17. It has no sense, no direction and when I reached the end my first thought was "What a pointless novel". Okay, so it wasn't completely tied up with a pretty bow - but reading the last couple of pages you know that Jack will have a happy ending of sorts. Plus, throughout the story she doesn't learn from her mistakes; there is no character growth.
One of my major issues with the book is the culture it shows. I am sure there are 17 year old girls out there who have sex with boys in the back car (even though the boy doesn't remember who they are 6 months later), think having sex with a boy means they are in love even though he is 21 years old and only meets up to have sex, drink to excess while underage and smoke. Yes, I am sure there are girls out there that live this way but it comes across as just sad (like a bad-girl wannabe) and overdone.
Honestly, I wouldn't use this novel in a classroom setting - even for adult learners. There is just nothing in the plot or characters that can be used (other than how it could have been better developed) to teach or demonstrate about writing elements.
I can't even recommend this book as a general read. How it got shortlisted for Book Week 2016 is beyond me.
Get to know the author
Click HERE to visit Vikki Wakefield's official website.