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Driftwood I believe 'Driftwood' was one of the first Cathy Cassidy books I ever read I must have been about ten at the time and I remembered uite liking it although I had no recollection of the actual storyThe book is set by the coast in Scotland and is told from the perspective of a girl named Hannah Hannah is friends with Joey a kooky wild child with stripy hair mismatched socks and a passion for Good Charlotte Hannah's older brother Kit has been crushing on Joey for as long as Hannah can remember but when Joey begins to return those feelingswell things get a little awkward And then to complicate things even further Joey's new foster brother Paul is added to the mix bringing with him a trio of kittens a zebra print bicycle and a whole lot of beach magic But beneath the surface Paul is inwardly drowning in his own problems Is it possible to save a friend who's lost at sea?Ok despite my ten year old self thinking of this book as being uite good my present day self does not agreeI didn't think much of any of the characters Joey was still my favourite character just as she was when I first read the novel When I was ten I thought Joey sounded like the coolest person ever and I wanted to be just like her and wear mini kilts and dye my hair green and pink I didn't of course Now when I read about her she still seems exciting in comparison to the other characters but it was glaringly apparent to me that Cathy Cassidy had tried really hard to create a rebellious teen girl somewhat of a badass and it was too cliché to really be believable Not only this but she also attempted to make the book appealing by including what she clearly believes to be 'cool teenage lingo' At one point Hannah refers to Joey and Kit being on 'Planet Slush' and it's really a head in hands momentAs for the other characters well they did nothing for me Kit was just a total idiot there's no way around that fact I just wanted to punch him he was such a jerk What was Joey THINKING going out with him? Not that Paul was much better as a love interest Ok so firstly there was next to no romance between him and Hannah which was a bit of a letdown Secondly he was a bitwell nothingy I guess His personality was zero I wasn't exactly rooting for him I mean sure I felt sorry for him he went through a lot but I was hardly there with pom poms jumping up and down screaming 'Woo Go Paul You can do it You can beat the bullies and get the girl You go get your happily ever after'And as for Hannahfor a protagonist she was really nothing special I mean like Paul her personality was non existent Not once did she do something that made me gasp made me sit up a little straighterI think the dull characters were really what made the book such a flop Because of their utter boringness the plot was also very boring Well I say 'plot' there wasn't one really It was just a 192 page account of the goings on of a group of teenage friends which didn't make for a very good story The ending was a disappointment too I mean it was just so predictable and really too perfect to be believable Everything worked out just so meaning that every character got exactly what they were looking for and everyone lived happily ever after and in reality that just would not happen Cathy Cassidy had all the loose ends tied up just a little too conveniently for my likingAlso can we just talk about the age thing again? In the last couple of Cathy Cassidy books I've read recently the age misjudgement hasn't been too terrible but in thisno twelve year olds are not portrayed correctly here Twelve year olds do not dress as Joey does they're pretty new to Secondary School and wouldn't dare wouldn't even THINK of rebelling against the school uniform code in that way It's just the way they are Twelve year olds do not develop proper romantic feelings for one another especially not with people older than them as is the case with Joey and KitI mean to be honest I disliked this book than 'Sundae Girl' and that's saying somethingI'd rate this book2 out of 10 stars'Beach magic Maybe it works after all' Hannah 'He's there' I mutter 'I know he is''So we'll find him' says Kit And suddenly out of nowhere my eyes are leaking tears at an alarming rate LORDY OK so backstory this has been one of my favourite books ever since I first read it aged 12 This is the first time I have re read it in a few years today being March 2019 and somehow this affected me deeply than it ever has before Below were my previous thoughts on this book Forever one of my favourite books I remember the first time I finished this book I put it down and it felt as though the world was spinning around me I suppose I love the kind of stories where romance is heavily hinted as opposed to absolutely clarified to me it was always obvious Hannah and Paul would get together but that wasn't the main point of the story This story so beautifully dealt with difficult topics such as death abandonment depression adoption self harm suicide bullying I am always always in utter awe of the way Cathy Cassidy so expertly weaved all these things together into the beautiful story 'Driftwood' is all whilst not losing a scrap of humour and character development It has been over a decade and I am still not even remotely bored of this book I doubt I ever will be And I still stand by absolutely everything I wrote there But what's gut wrenching to me is how deeply embedded the bullying depression and self harm is in this story; and how well it's done for a book which sits on that cusp between Middle Grade and Young Adult Paul always wearing long sleeves and covering his wrists is a repetitive theme yet I'm still noticing new times when you realise he is covering his wrists The self harm element is constantly beating away; as is the suicidal feelings They're always there And I think that's why the uote I highlighted at the start took my breath awayA character I really dug deep into this time was actually Kit I always found Kit incredibly two dimensional irritating and a character without cause for redemption; yet on this re read? Kit to me reads as a scared thirteen year old who is insecure in who he is and so goes along with a situation to save face Which is why he is so utterly terrified when they realise what Paul has potentially done and why that uotation made me burst into tears And truly aren't those the realest kinds of bullies? Not the ones like Murphy but the ones like Kit the ones who seem like friends then turn on us not because they're savage horrible people but because they're lashing out due to fear in themselves? I love this book I will always love this book It is still to this day one of the only books I have read where depression and self harm and loneliness and suicide is dealt with properly without that being the entire story; this book has breathing space other things that make you laugh other things to hide in But none of those things take away from the serious things it discusses And I will always always love how frankly and simply those things are presented God I'm waffling Read this damn book Hannah Joey have been best friends forever Joey's parents love rescuing things making them beautiful their house is full of things made from driftwood old glass shells from the beach Which is why the scraggy kittens the girls find in a bin at school end up living there Then Paul moves in because he needs rescuing too This book centres around serious subjects such as bullying depression and suicide but remains entertaining despite this Cassidy seems to have a real knack for creating likeable real characters and pulling her reader into their lives I first read this a decade ago when I was 1011 and at the time it was my favourite book I picked it up and reread it on a whim today and I never realised the impact it had on me Not a positive impact far from it For a book aimed at kids it's horrific The way being gay is treated as a problem something to fear and be afraid of Or the way it suggested keeping uiet about being bullied Or the way it introduced the idea of self harm as a viable solution to feeling unhappyWas any of it intended? Probably not But as an 11 year old that was being bullied and was deeply unhappy in themselves it certainly gave me the idea that hurting myself was a valid way to cope And it certainly helped reinforce the idea that being gay was something to be ashamed of and it left me all kinds of fucked up for years Rated yikes out of 10 I read this book when I was much much younger Nevertheless it deserves a lot of kudos Being a childrens' book it's still well written and approaches a lot of mature themes such as homophobia individuality self harming bullying and relationships It wasn't beyond it's years and it will be something I will hope my young children will read in the future It's not a cookie cutter story and I was really impressed had the depths it went to whilst still maintaining appeal to a much younger target audience I didn't find it at all melodramatic with the story lighting up some serious teenage concerns and relatable issues Definitely very well written Bravo so happy to have the opportunity to read this thru an interlibrary loani really enjoyed this middle grades to YA book dealing with friendship and bullying I love her characters and how there's always a slightly outrageous one just like in real life my daughter is reading it now perfect for her at age 12 ok kit was an asshole so it made this hard to read also they rushed the recovery ending aka suicidal attempt one page and then 5 pages later he’s back and recovered and it’s the end probably my least favourite cathy cassidy book oh god the pre teen angst I was recommended this book by a 10 year old and I was uite surprised that she would be reading a book with such a sad issue underlying it Cathy Cassidy is clever in the way she presents the characters and at the same time she is writing about bullying and depression I think this book could be useful for Upper Key Stage Two to introduce the topic of bullying and the conseuences and effect that bullying can have on children Each character in this story has a uniue personality and the reader can see the bullying from the perspective of bully bullier and witness to the bullying I would recommend this book as I think the issues are cleverly dealt with without being too harsh for a younger reader I think the older reader can understand the subtle messages This book is a delightful story an it gives advice about bullying as well and it shows that it's always important to tell someone It is a heart gripping story about love friendship and hate My favourite character is Hannah because she never turns her back on anyone and is always there for Paul who has a rough time with the other boys because he is different My least favourite character is Hannah's older brother kit because he bullys Paul who is Hannah's best friend Joey's foster brother and Joey is his girlfriend Not for long I think my favourite part is when Paul goes away to the island and doesn't tell anyone My least favourite part is when Joey and kit goes to town ad stays there for hours and everyone is really worried I recommend this book for people who like a trouble book