I picked up "Goalden Girl" after coming across Tracey Morait's Blog and Twitter updates, mainly because I am a football fan and it sounded like an interesting storyline. Football is touched upon in great detail and the game descriptions clearly show that the author knows her "footie".
But this book is not about Football. This book is about real people who live all around us. People we are in contact with on a day to day basis and whose experiences we would have shared one way or another. Tracey has touched upon lots of different subjects which many teenage girls would experience these days, most importantly the impact of a parent's second marriage/relationship on a young person's life. Gemma Sutherland in some ways reminds me of my step-daughter and brings back memories of the ups and downs I shared with her very early on in our relationship (when she was 15!)
The various sub-plots kept me entertained throughout the book and I really found it difficult to put it down because I needed to know what next? And the main reason for that is again what I said at the start - real people. They are not perfect, sometimes not nice at all (just like someone or other we know) but they all have a story to tell. They are very believable and I could relate to them.
And this book has left me wanting to know more. Not so much about Gemma or Tyrone or Shelley, I want to hear Portia's story. I found her to be a very interesting character and I want to meet Portia again at 15-16 years old. I want to know how she turned out.
"Goalden Girl" was written for young adults, but I think it makes great reading for people of all ages.
There is one comment I would like to make - sometimes the language is too colloquial and its possible that some readers may need a little guidance on what some of the terms mean because they are specific to a certain locality/region. While reading the book I sometimes asked my husband if a word/phrase was commonly used in Liverpool because I have heard him use it but not a lot of other people from Southern England. Terms I was not familiar with as a teenager growing up in India. Its not a criticism just something I was conscious of as I read the book and I AM contradicting myself when I say its the language made the characters more believable. Maybe a glossary next time would get rid of this?