Monday 28 June 2021

Review: Someone I Used To Know by Paige Toon


At fifteen, George is the foster brother Leah never asked for. As the angry, troubled boy struggles to come to terms with his circumstances, Leah finds herself getting drawn closer to him.
Theo’s wealthy family have mysteriously pulled him out of boarding school and he’s now enrolled at the local state school with Leah and George. When their worlds collide that summer, the three teenagers form a bond they believe will be unbreakable. But life doesn’t always go to plan...
Shocking news brings Leah back to Yorkshire, baby daughter in tow. But Emilie’s father Theo isn’t with them, and George has unexpectedly returned. After half a lifetime, have they healed the scars of their pasts? Will coming back home set their hearts in a different direction?

Review: What a wonderful story about family and love in all its forms set in the best possible backdrop of North Yorkshire! I always knew I was going to love the setting of this book but the way this author writes about my home county and the towns where I was born and raised and have worked had me yearning to be there. I cannot wait for the day when I can stand at Brimham Rocks and take in the sights and sounds that George and Leah experience. 

I also adored the structure of this book. I loved getting to meet Leah and Her family, including George and I loved their relationship with Theo too. I could picture them growing up together so easily and spent the now parts of the book trying to work out what had driven them apart and what was in store for them next. The then scenes reminded me a lot of Blood Brothers with the two male leads to one female friendship and I really found the way we jumped back and forth between the then and now to be very compelling. I started this book on Saturday morning and was done listening by the end of Sunday night despite having a busy weekend. 

This book deals with a lot of major issues including children who become part of the care system, fostering, adoption, grief, abuse and alcoholism. There are definitely some care warning that need to be observed with this novel but I will say that all of these topics are dealt with in the most inspiring and sensitive way. I knew I would love the subject of children in care that is explored through George and Leah's world. I even like the fact that we look at the impact on now just the children in questions but those who are already in the foster placement and the impact it has on schools. As a teacher, I always enjoy when there is a nod to the profession in a novel, even if it isn't always in the most positive lights. 

There is so much love at the heart of this book. It is always the centre-point of a Paige Toon novel but this one in particular just spills over with love in the most passionate and life affirming way. It gives me hope and I love to see when love can last over the years whether that is in the romantic sense, the friendship sense or the love of a family. I knew this book would make me homesick and I knew that this book would make me want to look after all the children all the time. I can't wait to get back home and get back in the classroom and make the kind of difference we get to see in this book. 

Final note, I listened to this on audiobook. I was worried that the narrator would use a generic Yorkshire accent or even have. South or West Yorkshire accent but I can confirm that a North Yorkshire accent is used for these characters, even changing to a Harrogate accent as opposed to a Ripon accent in places and so a mention definitely needs to go to the narrator chosen for this novel, it was great to hear!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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