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    A Study In Friendship

    This may be a YA novel but, as a distinctly non-YA reader, I thoroughly enjoyed. The balance of relationships between the housemates (Ella, Lou, Issey, Liane and Paige) is wonderfully drawn and each character just screams off the page. They are in the second year of University and in their first house share together with all that it entails. On the whole they rub along together well but each has her own secrets that they are shielding from everyone. There really doesn't seem to be any overarching plot here, it is simply the tale of what happens to 5 girls over 1 year and how the decisions each makes affects both their own lives and that of others. Some of the characters at first feel a little stereotypical (eg., Ella as the sensible one) but as the first few chapters pass by you quickly realise that they are stereotypes because they are true and if you look at your own circle of friends (both then and now) that there was someone that filled similar roles. There is some sex in the book (but not graphically described) and there is a lot of swearing - honestly, with as realistic as this story feels there would have to be. A house of 5 girls and nobody swears on a daily basis would be unbelievable. So, if you have issues with language this may not be the book for you - or for you to gift to that YA in your life. What this book did for me was show that friendship can be the most wonderful thing and that the ability to be honest with each other just cements it. Yes, they bicker, yes they each do things that irritate the others but they do have each other's backs. That said you do get the impression that once University is over most of them will go their separate ways and fall out of contact with the others. There is no real ending to the book. Their second year ends and the girls are all scattering back to family in various parts of the country. This leaves the reader to decide how things progress for each character - I am sure no two people will come up with the same future for the girls. A genuinely fun book full of humour that leaves you feeling positive and like you just got a good old hug. I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS BOOK FROM READERS FIRST IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW.
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