Love bomb by Jenny McLachlan
Bloomsbury, 2015. ISBN 9781408856093
Betty Plum is a confident and happy teen, secure in her world of best friends Kat and Bea, BFF Bill, her dad and her cat, Mr Smokey. But then she turns fifteen and her life suddenly becomes a lot more complicated.
What happens? Well there is the advent of Tobias Gray who makes her want to change her never been kissed status. Then there are all the compromises she's prepared to make to win his approval. Her dad, after 13 years of happiness with just her and Mr Smokey suddenly has a girlfriend. Bill and Kat seem to have become BFFs or more and Betty's not happy about that but doesn't know why and the only one who can help her make sense of all of this is her mum and she's been dead for thirteen years and is only available through a series of fifteen letters - the last one to be opened on Betty's fifteenth birthday. But did her mum remember her own teens and leave a lifeline for Betty?
McLachlan has a sure hand in writing of the trials and tribulations of Betty's fifteenth year. The novel, while fun and often light is never patronising and possesses subtleties and nuances for the discerning reader. Overall Love Bomb leaves the reader feeling happy and optimistic for Betty and the people in her world and surely that's no small thing.