Sheena Wilkinson's latest novel for young adults is the story of former TV star Ryan. Ryan is not quite 18 but he feels he's already failed, having had a short lived career as a singer following his appearance on a TV talent show. His fame as RyLee has turned him into an addict. The press have had a field day with his bad boy antics and Ryan has had enough of the manufactured and inauthentic sound that defined him. Following a stint in rehab Ryan is desperate to stay clean but his stepdad also wants him to return to school and the arguments become heated. A chance meeting with a girl called Toni also a musician leads to Ryan taking a trip to Belfast and he persuades himself that he's not running away he's starting over. But starting over with a new name and no money is going to be very tough. This is a fantastically written book; sharply plotted, full of interesting characters and plenty of twists and turns. It was a real pleasure to follow Ryan's journey to reinvent himself from the arrogant and pampered pleasure seeker to someone who starts to take responsibility for himself and others. The details and dialogues of teens lives in contemporary Dublin and Belfast are so spot on. There is real insight in this book about many issues that young people may face; exam pressure, drugs and alcohol, relationships, money and homelessness. The dark issues are dealt with carefully; with honesty but never loosing the air of hope and Sheena's insight is impeccable. If you are a fan of contemporary YA authors like Claire Hennessey, Sarah Crossan, E. R. Murray or Patrice Lawrence then this book is for you.
Today is the final day of The Street Song blog tour. Check out all the other stops listed on the banner for more reviews of Street Song. Thanks a million to Lina at Ink Road for the chance to review the book and take part in the blog tour.
Street Song is published by Ink Road the new YA imprint of Black & White Publishing in Edinburgh.