Title: Heath, Cliffs and Wandering Hearts
Author: Laura Barnard
Publication Date: 15 October 2016
I’m excited to be on today’s blog tour for Heath, Cliffs and Wandering Hearts. This is the first Young Adult novel from author, Laura Barnard.
Life for sixteen year old Savannah Franks has just been turned upside down. Her Mum’s business has failed and they’re forced to move into a maisonette in the rough end of town.
She doesn’t want anyone to know her dire situation, not even her besties. So when the rest of the money for the school ski trip is due she can’t be seen not to attend. Everyone is going! She just needs to find a job. Add that to the list of getting a boyfriend and losing her pathetic virginity.
But working every spare hour in a job she hates on top of school work and mounting secrets doesn’t prove easy. Soon she’s keeping so many she’s not even sure herself what’s true and what’s not.
The only person she can lean on to tell the truth is her best friend Heath. Only…did he get hot recently? That won’t make things awkward between them…right?
I’m not a huge fan of YA books in general, however when Laura Barnard asked me to join in with the blog tour for Heath, Cliffs and Wandering Hearts I was happy to do so. I am a big fan of Barnard’s previous novels (romantic comedies) and I was interested to see how her writing translated for a younger age group.
As with all of Barnard’s books, Heath, Cliffs and Wandering Hearts has a fabulously catchy title and from the first chapter I knew that the story would be packed full of humour. In fact, there were some real laugh out loud moments throughout and it was interesting to see Barnard’s view on the comedy that is teenage life. Whilst there is certainly a lot of angst and drama, there is also a wonderfully comic note running throughout the story, particularly in relation to Sav’s clumsiness.
Savannah Franks is one of life’s drama queens, although this comes more from anxiety and calamities than from a wish to be centre of attention. Along with her best friends, Zahra, Charlotte, Kate and Erin, she is on a mission to get a boyfriend and lose her virginity. Unfortunately, a constant string of mishaps foils her plans! When she then finds herself torn between her best friend Heath (when did he get so gorgeous?!) and the wonderful Zach, there are bound to be a few damaged hearts left by the wayside!
The characters are one of the strengths of this story. Between Sav and the girls, their male friends, Sav’s brother Dylan, the kids’ parents and Sav’s bonkers grandma – there’s never a dull moment to be had!
I particularly enjoyed the strong theme of friendship running throughout the story. Barnard described a strong friendship group and has done so in a very realistic manner, including the fractions and squabbles which will naturally occur in such a close-knit group.
Barnard has wonderfully captured the cringe worthiness of teenage life, telling the tale with such vividness and humour that I felt thrown back to my (long-forgotten) high school days. I enjoyed the story and found myself feeling somewhat nostalgic for my younger years, whilst also wishing that I could give the girls the benefit of some well-placed advice!
Heath, Cliffs and Wandering Hearts is a story of underage drinking, wild parties, boys and friendship. A great book for teenagers and about teenagers!
About the Author
Laura Barnard lives in Hertfordshire, UK and writes romantic comedy or ‘chick lit’ as its so often described. In her spare time she enjoys drinking her body weight in tea, indulging in cupcakes the size of her face and drooling over hunks like Jamie Dornan, Ryan Gosling and Leo Dicaprio.
She enjoys wearing yoga pants and reading fitness magazines while sitting on the sofa eating chocolate. She’s a real fan of the power nap and of course READING!
She writes not to get rich or famous, but because she LOVES writing. Even if one person tells her they enjoyed her book it makes the midnight typing worth it!
Check out all Laura Barnards books
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