Published on: August 15th 2016
Published by: Barrington Stoke
Genre: YA Contemporary
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(summary from Goodreads)
Unboxed is about four teenagers who come together after several months apart. In previous years, they had put together a time capsule about their best summer with a friend who was dying. Now that their friend has passed, they reunite to open the box.
It was short and sweet and everything I love about Non Pratt. I’m not one for short books, I like chunky books full of words about worlds and battles and love, but this was none of that and yet I really really liked it.
“I know why we all fell apart, that’s just what happens. But things that fall apart can be put back together, right? Even if there’s a piece missing.”
The whole book is from one POV, Alix’s, although it focus’ on the entire group of Alix, Ben, Dean and Zara. (Zara’s boyfriend Ash is also there, but he is a douche bag so I will be ignoring his presence!). I was only with these characters for 139 pages but I feel like I got to know them all so well even in such a short space of time.
Non is amazing at capturing the voices of teenagers and making them real and believable. She is not patronising or stupid and cheesy. She speaks about all the idiotic and the totally raw and honest things that teenagers are about. She makes them relate-able and she makes us think back to when we where teenagers and find our younger selves in the characters.
I really liked the idea of the time capsule, I’ve always wished that I had done one with my friends at school. In this case of this one it becomes the opportunity to bring these four characters back together again and gives them a night to reminisce about an amazing summer they experience and to grieve together for their friend.
“I never really believed it would come to this. Death was someething that happened in other people’s stories. Not mine. Not Millie’s.”
I also wanted to mention at this point that my copy of this book is dyslexic friendly. WHat does that mean, you ask? That was my question when I bought it, because in my naivity I thought that dyslexia was all about seeing letters wrong, so how could you make a dyslexic friendly book?
It’s on thicker (and slightly yellow) paper which helps to make a better contrast between the age and the letters and also stops “ghosting” (the words on the other side of the page showing through. It is also printed with a specific type face which apparently the most easy for dyslexic people to read.
Sure, it looks slightly different from my other paperback books, but I couldn’t help but find the whole thing fascinating. And who cares if the book looks a little different if it means that more people get to enjoy it?
“But the thing about knowing you’re about to die is that you spend a lot of time thinking about being alive. Way more than you do if you’re actually going to live – living takes up so much brain space that it squished out the other stuff. The important things. Like when you feel like the best version of yourself. Who was there when you did. Whether you’ve been chasing that version of yourself ever since and never found her.“
It’s an excellent mix of funny, sweet and emotional and this tiny book will take you on a massive rollercoaster of emotions. Definitely worth the read!
Re-Readability: Yeah, at some point.
I would recommend this book to: Non Pratt, YA contemporary, stories about friendships, stories about loss, stories about secrets