Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Book Review: Truth or Dare by Non Pratt

Title: Truth or Dare
Author: Non Pratt
Author Info: Website|Twitter|Instagram
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Walker Books
Publication Date: 1st June 2017
Rating: 4 stars

Tell Me About It
A powerful and moving novel about bravery from the Guardian's "writer to watch" Non Pratt, perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell, John Green and Holly Bourne. How far is too far when it comes to the people you love? Claire Casey hates being the centre of attention. But if it means getting Sef Malik to notice her, it’s a risk she’s happy to take. Sef is prepared to do anything to help his recently disabled brother. But this means putting Claire’s love – and life – on the line. Because when you're willing to risk everything, what is there left to lose?
My Thoughts
Truth or Dare was a book I have been eagerly awaiting its publication, and excited to make a start on it once it arrived in the post. But life got busy, and crazy, and stressful and I found it hard to even pick up a book, never mind open one to read. So I carried Truth or Dare with me everywhere I went, hoping I'd find some calmness to sit and read the book.

Truth or Dare is told in two points of view, with Claire's story first, before we flip the book to read Sef's. With Claire we get to know her really well, how she suffers at the hands of bullies, how a video has made the rounds of her bikini mishap, and how that has shaped her school life. Sef is a mystery at first, and we initially get to know him through Claire's eyes. We learn of the unfortunate accident that almost killed his brother Kam and leaves him with a brain injury, how his treatment at a special rehabilitation unit is expensive, and is money Sef and his family just don't have, and then we see how Sef plans to rise this money with the help of Claire, who is already invested in this family due to volunteering at the unit to read to Kam.

With a video camera, empty caravan, and disguises Claire and Sef set about creating a YouTube channel to video and share their truths and dares, and raise money by asking for donations or suggestions for a donation.

Truth or Dare was a book that really stood out for me, I loved the idea behind it, the partnership between fellow pupils, how far someone is willing to go to help someone they love, and how far can a person be pushed before they break. I really liked the idea behind the truth or dares and did actually laugh at some of them a they took place. I liked the characters and their beliefs and what they stood for, even if there may be some confusion along the way between best friends. The whole idea of dual point of view in a flip style book was a really unique way to tell the story, especially as one picks up as the other ends, but also fills in a few gaps and previous events.

This book really brings to light the struggles families can face every day to find money to support and help people they love, enabling them to get the best possible treatment available. It's a struggle for most people to survive each day, and I can't imagine how having to find so much money for a loved one can put an even bigger financial strain on a family.

Final Verdict
Truth or Dare is a heartwarming and heartfelt story, and although it took a while for me to read, as soon as my own life stuff calmed down I could not put this one down. This is a must read for fans of Non Pratt.

Just like her character Claire, Non has set up a fundraising page for Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, and will shave her head at YALC if she reaches her target of £2,000.

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