2014 EVENTS:
Holly Bourne, Non Pratt and James Dawson - 30th October
Becca Fitzpatrick - 15th November

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

REVIEW: Remix - Non Pratt

Wednesday, 25 February 2015
GENRE: Contemporary YA
PAGES: 304
PUBLISHER: Walker Books
RATING: 5 Stars

Kaz is still reeling from being dumped by the love of her life... Ruby is bored of hearing about it. Time to change the record.

Three days. Two best mates. One music festival. Zero chance of everything working out.

The mark of a good book for me is an inability to put it down. Bear in mind I'm a painfully slow reader when I say that I read Remix in half a day - this for me is unheard of. It was part wanting to know what happens with the characters, and part nostalgia. It captures the feeling of being young and hopeful; being old enough to do adult things but too naive and inexperienced not to jump in headfirst because you think you should.

I remember my first festival like it was yesterday (not, sadly, nearly 10 years ago). The excitement of venturing out with your best friend believing everything would be magical and wonderful. The feeling that music can change the world and that those small moments of connection between you, the music, and the people you care about are perfectly written.

So much of the friendship between Kaz and Ruby rang true for me and my best friend, and I could understand and appreciate all the ways in which the characters had to choose between what they wanted and what was best for their friends, and how horribly wrong you can get it sometimes. That's the best thing about them, though, that nothing really works out perfectly. And that isn't a spoiler, just a reflection of real life relationships.

The characters are well drawn, flawed and selfish at times, but redeemable. It's a perfect weave of funny and serious, heartbreaking and gripping. It's full of popular culture references too (and perhaps a tiny nod to James Dawson's Say Her Name...?). It's raw in places, and not for the conservative or very young among YA readers but I like that, and Non Pratt is becoming known for not pulling her punches. I like that sex isn't glorified and there some really important scenes. I believe it is right to be honest and transparent in contemporary work, where truth is necessary. Yes it's a little convenient in places, but who cares? There's so much for readers to relate to, even if you've never been to a festival. That intense friendship and first love. And if you're a bit older I think you'll find as much in here that is nostalgic as I do.

Although the overarching theme is friendship, it's also about mistakes: how easy it is to make them, and how hard they can be to fix and forget. I loved Remix. It's going to be the perfect Summer read. So buy it in June, sit out on the grass and imagine the music surrounding you.

- Bex.

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