MUD – Emily Thomas
*This book was sent to me as part of an Instagram paid campaign. This review is separate to that campaign and no monies were received for this review.
I’m so happy that the publisher sent me this book because I never would have picked this up normally. The story is a very simple one; a young girl moves onto a boat with her family and her new young step mum after they cannot afford to live in their big house anymore. However, the story is much deeper than that a bit darker than I was expecting.
The protagonist is a little younger than what I’m used to reading (by the end of the novel she is 15) but that worked in the book’s favour because I found that it was very reminiscent of my own childhood. When I was younger I used to have to stay on my Grandad’s boat and I remember how much I HATED it, so I found myself relating to the character much more than I usually would. I felt her frustration and I could really put myself in her shoes.
What I loved the most about this book is how English it was. Mud is packed with the sarcastic British humour and slang that we all know and love, all British readers will find something to relate to whether it’s seeing your older sister off to uni and going to stay with her for the first time, getting drunk at the age of 14 or the good old pubs – its head to toe British and I love it.
While this book deals with all of the struggles that every young teenage girl has to go through; starting a new school, your first house party and your first innocent crush on a boy, it also deals with a theme that is slightly darker. Throughout the novel you see the protagonist’s father go into a drunken spiral through very innocent eyes which altogether makes for a very interesting narrative.
While there were parts of this book which I would consider a little cliché (I mean, of course the young step mum was going to leave eventually – they are living on an old boat for God’s sake!) it didn’t bother me at all. This is a really nice little book with strong characters and a lovely message at the end. A really enjoyable read.