Hope Review

Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Proof via Firefly (released 15th September 2017)

The summer between school and sixth form college. When Hope doesn't get into drama college, and her friends do, all her plans fall apart. She's struggling with anger, grief for her father and a sense that her own body is against her. She meets Riley on the ferry and his texts give her someone to talk to. But this isn't a story about a boy fixing everything. It's about trying new things, having the courage to ask for help and that when things seem to be all over, that might be just the beginning.

The author of Hope, Rhian Ivory is one of my favourite people on Twitter and has been so lovely to me in the few months we've been chatting so when I heard she had a YA Contemporary coming out, I was beyond excited and was thrilled when the lovely people at Firefly Press sent me over a copy.

I wasn't sure what to expect as I'd not read a synopsis and sometimes I like to go blind into a book and not know what's coming. I'll tell you what was coming: tears. And a lot of them. 

Hope focuses on a teenage girl called, you guessed it, Hope. Hope is desperate to attend drama college and sees no other path to follow in her life, but this one. Her mum tells her that if she fails the next audition, she must give up her dream of drama school and focus on getting a job. With Hope's dad having just died, the family is struggling and Hope can see that, no matter how well her mum tries to hide it.

What I loved most about Hope is that she's such a relatable character. Usually, even in contemporaries, I find myself rolling my eyes to the heavens and laughing at how unrealistic the situation is that the characters are in. This was definitely not the case with Hope. Hope is a normal teenage girl and not enough books showcase the struggles of how hard it can be, being a teen.

Hope was educational, in a way that wasn't overbearing or pushy. When books are too in your face, I feel it can be quite off-putting for teens. It was educational in Hope's disorder (I don't want to tell you about that in detail, as I feel it's a journey you should go on with Hope throughout the book), mental health, hospitals and organ donation. All taboo topics in books, particularly YA, that were dealt with beautifully and matter-of-factly.

I'm not sure if we weren't supposed to like Callie (Hope's best friend) and Hope's mother but I really didn't like either of them. I feel that maybe we are supposed to feel this because for the majority of the book, Hope feels these emotions towards the characters as part of her disorder. If that was something Rhian was trying to achieve, she did it perfectly.

There are a lot of hard-hitting scenes and themes throughout the book. When Hope starts to work temporarily on the hospital ward and strikes up friendships with some children on the Children's Ward, let me tell you, those scenes are heart-wrenching and I can assure you, you'll be crying. Or perhaps, ugly sobbing, like me.

As this was the first book I'd read from Rhian, I couldn't have been more thrilled with it. I love books that truly reflect every day life, and this book does just that. Educating us, along the way.

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