The Literature Hub
Reviewed by Ashleigh
Author: Fleur Beale
Publisher & Pages: HarperCollins, 110 pages
Audience: Young Adult
Blurb: Mum was sick, Jude was crazy and Gina was nuts. Life was one huge, great bundle of laughs.
Lily has a crushing load of problems to cope with for someone who is fifteen, and then her best friend, Jude, turns away from her for a nerd called Kev, the world’s biggest user.
Her mother and young sister, Fish-face Gina, both need a heap of looking after and life becomes one long, hard drag. The bright lights seem so far away.
But there are a few light spots with other friends, and help comes from surprising quarters. Will Gina be taken away to a foster home, or will the gutsy Lily win through?
Highlight: Lily is an awesome example of a strong female character.
Caution: There are some adult themes in this book.
Highlight: The character development is fantastic.
Review: I first read this book as a child when I found it in my primary school library, and it has stuck with me ever since. It took me years to track down this book, and I’m so glad I finally did.
Fleur Beale is an amazing author. She really captures the essence of each character and it translates well to the page. All of her books have a defined set of characters, each with their own unique personality. In Fifteen and Screaming, Lily really is a gutsy character, and she seems like the most maternal one out of her friend group, which comes in handy when her mother falls sick and she has to take over the running of the household.
Despite finding this book in my old primary school library, this is a real coming of age book. Overnight, Lily goes from an angsty, self-absorbed teenager, to the head of the household. She becomes a parent to her little sister, a carer for her seriously ill mother, and breadwinner for her family. With no family to rely on, Lily has to become a whole new person in order to keep her family together.
As a 20 year old, you wouldn’t think I could relate to a 15 year old main character. As it turns out, I totally can. I’m still learning how to be an adult. That sounds really bad, but it’s true. I’m no good with grocery shopping, or cleaning the house, or even cooking dinner. Lily is absolutely terrible at all of those things, yet she has to learn how to do them very quickly. I can empathise with her in some aspects.
If you’re looking for a quick read with loads of entertainment, you should definitely check this book out. An older audience may find something lacking regarding the quality of the writing, but overall Fifteen and Screaming is a fantastic read for all ages.
Star Rating: 4 Stars
Available in: Paperback