I read Ms Kearns' debut novel with an eye to learning more about the young adult genre but I must say I enjoyed it as much as I would have as a member of the target audience. It reminded me of the insightful social commentary to be found in much of what Jacqueline Wilson had written, but it was far edgier and much more relevant to modern teenagers (no offence to Ms Wilson, who of course is writing for a much younger audience). What impressed me most was the author's depiction of racially diverse Tooting and how she explores the differences between and problems faced by different ethnic groups without giving into stereotypes. Apart from that the story was simple but very engaging and there were moments where I felt a real sympathy for the protagonist, a teenage girl who feels betrayed by her mother and is longing to understand where she came from. Ideal for children aged 11-16 and especially girls, who I think will appreciate the mother-daughter relationship and the mature, knowledgeable way in which the author deals with the difficult themes of peer pressure and teenage sexuality.
This first novel really connects with its teen audience. The reader walks alongside the protagonist, Niki, as she comes to terms with who she is. The difficulties she faces are those created by the adults around her. As she tries to work out truth from fabrication, you really empathise with her need to establish her own identity.
Not only a good story, this is structured and crafted. Simile is well used to evoke feelings and deepen our understanding of the main character. The varied and convincing use of dialect enriches the plot and creates a mix of cosmopolitan voices.
The reader is left with the sense that Niki won't ever have an easy path to follow...
Highly recommended...a debut novel which launches an author worth keeping a close eye on.
Read this book in one sitting and loved it - really good characters and story. One of the best things was that the supporting characters were really well drawn, Niki's friends and Hyacinth (the Jamaican next door neighbour) were interesting people with their own stories to tell, not just padding to help the story along. The author also has a good knack of telling you enough to carry you along with the story, but not describing every little detail - the result is that it feels like you "get to know" the characters rather than just being told what they're like. The book is told mostly from the perspective of Niki (a teenage girl), but also flits between her mother and grandfather, all three characters have a very distinct voice and the right amount of flaws to make them believable whilst still allowing you to like them. Though some parts of the story are sad, and the main characters don't always make wise decisions, I enjoyed the fact that they were allowed to learn, grow and change. Would recommend this to both teens and adults.
I loved this book! It follows the journey of teenager Niki as she battles through the trials of growing up, while coming to terms with the secrets her mum has been keeping from her. Niki is very believable character and I could really feel her emotion in this book. I would recommend this to teenagers and adults.
I loved this book! I read it in just a couple of days because it's a page-turner. A gripping story, varied characters, a central character (Niki) with whom the reader feels a great deal of sympathy - this book made me smile and made me cry. I would give this to adults as well as older teens.
No Use Crying is a lovely teenage book. It follows the story of Nikita who lives with her mother, up until the age of 14 she thinks her father is in prison as that is what her mother told her. The story is very engaging and a page turner, and i love the way that the author has incorporated the title into the chapters being represented by teardrops. The moral of the story is that there is no use crying - over split milk, the popular saying.
This is a really brave book which looks at the difficulties facing Niki. I loved the diversity of the characters and felt there was good insite into their various lives. I think this is a great young teens book, but at 33 I still really enjoyed it! I would thoroughlynrecommend this.
This novel is aimed at teens but at the grand old age of 40 I enjoyed it a lot. Kearns does a wonderful job of pitching her narrative at the target reader and keeping the story flowing with plenty of twists and turns. Highly recommended for YA readers of all ages.
This is the first 'young adult' book I have read in a long time and I didn't quite know what to expect but I must say I really enjoyed this book. It is very easy to read and also incredibly well written. I would definitely recommend it.