Top critical review
'But don't you need all the friends you can get?'
on 20 March 2016
Recently, I embarked on a re-reading the-classics-from-my-childhood-and-tween-years journey, and it could not be complete without the inclusion of Cathy Cassidy's books. Well, I've read them all now, and the last one was 'Indigo Blue'.
Out of all of Cathy's books, this one is probably the 'youngest'. What I mean by that is, it is aimed at older children, I would say, rather than almost teenagers.
Indigo's life has been turned upside down. The fighting at home has gotten worse, and Mum's had enough.
Only, Indigo doesn't quite realise how serious the situation is, and is therefore confused when she is uprooted, and forced to flee the house with her mum and little sister, Misti.
The new flat is damp, smelly and miserable- there is never enough food to eat, they're miles away from all their friends, and mum seems to be half a world away.
And Indigo has problems of her own. She's got a whole heap of secrets locked away inside, and her best friend is slowly drifting away from her. And it turns out that looking after mum and Misti is a full time job.
Can hot chocolate with marshmallows, daydreams, and new friend with strawberry laces make everything okay again?
I'm not sure what it was, but I found myself extremely bored when reading this book, and had to force myself to pick it up and get it finished.
Perhaps it was because I didn't really get into the storyline, or that I felt emotionally detached from all the characters.
Or maybe it was simply because I've read it quite a few times before. Whatever the reason, it was just a very tedious read.
Throughout my Cathy Cassidy-a-thon, my pet peeve has been her age misjudgement. We've seen twelve year olds getting absolutely drunk off their heads, a different twelve year old with a tongue piercing, but this...well it ALMOST tops it all.
Indigo and her little chums are ELEVEN, i.e. still in PRIMARY SCHOOL. How am I supposed to connect to a character who hasn't even experienced the delights of secondary school yet? And if they had acted as typical eleven years olds (year sixes) do, it may have been acceptable (the target age range is 9+ after all, which I suppose accounts for the exceedingly basic, childish writing style, not helped by Cathy Cassidy's efforts to sound 'hip' and 'cool' by implementing several examples of what she clearly believes to be tween lingo) but they don't.
They have silly little crushes on one another. In year six, the thoughts of the children are generally occupied by Pokémon and My Little Pony. The way that Indigo described how 'Shane looked at me, and my insides turned to melted chocolate' was possibly supposed to be romantic, but was really just laughable. I mean, these are primary school children we're talking about. She'd barely even spoken to Shane.
The only realistic age portrayal was when Jo caked herself in neon make-up, and glitter, clearly having no idea how to put it on properly, or what real make-up is supposed to look like. I mean come on, sparkly mauve eye shadow? That exactly the kind of thing an eleven year old would consider to be a good idea.
And I just didn't really identify with Indigo at all. She was a 2-D protagonist- she said and did all the right things in the right places, and fulfilled everybody's expectations, but not much besides. Also, she was incredibly naïve. She MUST'VE known what was going on between her mum and Max. Nobody is that blind to reality- not even a Cathy Cassidy protagonist.
Nothing about this book really grabbed me, so I really can't award it a high rating.
I'd rate this book....
2.5 stars out of 10