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Finding A Voice
by Kim Hood
Author: Kim Hood
This novel is a journey. It isn't your typical YA novel.
Shona Elrick (15)
Jo has to take care of her mum, who is mentally ill. This novel hits you from the first page; with Jo calling her home a place where she can't 'control the chaos' to her safe haven. This novel makes you question things from the first page, and you are sent on a rollercoaster of ups and downs that Jo has to deal with. I liked the character of Jo a lot and I felt sorry for her a few times, because she has to care for everyone.
This novel does cover a lot of different themes, including physical and mental disabilities and mental health. The theme of the novel itself is in the title, and it is done in a way that can be applied to real life. By reading this novel I actually felt like I understood the themes a lot more clearly. The novel itself is told from the perspective of a thirteen year old who, looking at it, has had to forfeit a lot so she can look after her mother, including friends. This could be said of other young carers, and the idea of Jo having nobody around to help her through it made me sympathise with the character of Jo greatly. Her mother was realistic and you could see how difficult it must be for Jo to look after her.
The entire premise of the novel was a fantastic idea and it was executed brilliantly, covering difficult issues without glossing over any important details or dumbing down anything, which makes this novel stand out above others that cover similar issues. I do recommend this for teens aged about 14 and over, as some of the issues may be more difficult to understand for younger readers, but anybody who enjoys a realistic book portraying mental illness and mental and physical disabilities can read this! I highly recommend it!