Trouble by Non Pratt
Published: 6 March 2014
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Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
A boy. A girl. A bump. Trouble.
Hannah’s smart and funny ... she’s also fifteen and pregnant. Aaron is new at school and doesn’t want to attract attention. So why does he offer to be the pretend dad to Hannah’s unborn baby?
Growing up can be trouble but that’s how you find out what really matters.
As 2014 debuts go, I think it's safe to say that Trouble was up there as one of my most anticipated releases. The book tells the story of teenager Hannah who finds herself pregnant and on her own. Luckily the school new boy Aaron is on hand to play father to her unborn child.
I loved this book. Like a lot. A lot, a lot, a lot. I love realistic fiction that can take on subjects others may shy away from, and teen pregnancy is something I have not read a lot about, so I was excited to see how it was done. And the result? It was done brilliantly. Trouble doesn't sensationalise teen pregnancy, nor does it come across as judgemental. Hannah's situation is not blown up in to some big drama. It felt real, honest, and had the perfect balance of humour, heart and emotion thrown in. Everything about it was just spot on. It never felt like an issue book, it was a book about a great girl and the ups and downs she goes through in all areas of her life. I'm a huge fan of YA contemporary and would urge everyone else who is to pick up Trouble, because it's a perfect example of why this genre is so great!
Then there's the fantastic characters. Take Hannah. We meet her as this girl who is confident around boys, but not in a way that is anyway frowned upon. She's just a typical teenager. She fights with her mum and drinks at parties, but she's sweet and funny and felt so real and likable. Non Pratt has created some wonderful characters who both reminded me of people I met at school, or made me wish I'd met people like them at school. And Aaron - where do I start with Aaron? I love him, and I'm pretty sure everyone who reads Trouble will too.
Trouble alternates between Aaron and Hanna's POV and what works so well is that they both have separate things going on their lives - their own secrets and pasts - but their two stories intertwine so beautifully. I loved how natural the bond between them was - it never felt forced. I loved that they both had this respect for each other which meant they never pushed the other to tell them anything they weren't happy talking about, and that they could completely relate to each other despite how different their situations are.
Throughout the book there's a lot of focus on family and I adored the relationship Hannah had with her sister and grandmother. I think a lot of young people will relate to Hanna's frustrations with her mother, especially at the beginning of the book where there's these constant fights over homework! One of my favourite parts was the friendship between Hannah and Katie and how it changes over time. I could really relate to a lot of those moments where things are becoming different between them.
I had a huge amount of respect for the writing. The school environment the book takes place in was so spot on and so much of it was recognisable, not just through the brilliant characters but the brilliant pop culture references. I think sometimes reading YA it's easy to start picking apart the scenes that would never happen in real life, but I couldn't find any in Trouble. In fact I couldn't find anything I disliked about it. It's probably as close as it comes to a perfect book!
There is so much more I could say. Basically I will be shouting about this book from the rooftops for a long time to come. When I finished Trouble, I kept turning the pages wanting more and more. I just didn't want to leave those characters whose lives I had become so invested in. At the same time, I loved that it left me feeling like that. I think it's so special to have a book that lives with you long after you've closed the pages.
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