Hope

Publisher: Firefly

Lots of people get mood swings around their periods, but Hope knows that what happens to her is worse – frighteningly so. In the aftermath of her father’s death, she clings to her dream of being an actress, but then she fails her audition for drama school. Suddenly, it feels as if there are no ways forward.

A chance meeting with a boy, Riley, on the ferry home, a job working with the Singing Medicine team at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, and a reunion with her grandfather are just some of the things that help her find her way to hope again.

Teenagers often get blamed for being over-dramatic, but the fact is that at that age, one failure can feel like the end of the world. Hope’s desperation and panic when her plans don’t work out feel completely realistic. The relationship with Riley is important but, refreshingly, just as important in the book are friends and family.

Many readers will relate to Hope’s life and the exploration of premenstrual dysphoric disorder sheds light on an important topic, which could be life-changing for some.

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