Happy ‘everybody reads YA’ Sunday blog share.
Today I’m sharing an excerpt from my latest teen novel, Girl Friends, which deals with a subject that is, sadly, often in the news these days. Last week even my local paper front page was devoted to a report on a safeguarding review of the failure to protect vulnerable girls from sexual exploitation.
Girl Friends, is a story – often humorous, despite the subject matter – about two such vulnerable girls. Courtney is a survivor who gets her life on track. But her best friend Grace thinks she’s found a fast track into modelling through her handsome older boyfriend. How wrong could she be? And can Courtney and new friends rescue in time?
Kal comes forward as we enter. Naturally I don’t know what his name is straight away, but I pick this up quickly from the conversation that goes on between Grace, him and the other men who are there. Even when they are not speaking English, it is still possible to pick up the names— Kal, Jayboy, Saqib and Davit. They are all old. Kal is the youngest and he must be at least twenty. I wonder, with mounting panic, which one Grace, or rather Kal—who seems something of a ringleader, or perhaps it’s just because his English is best—has in mind for me. I shrink down into my baggy sweater and pull another strand of hair over my face. This is so not my scene. But Grace seems fine or at least she is putting on a very good act of being relaxed and confident. She greets them all by name and she and Kal engage in a long kiss— tongues and everything. I turn away but Kal, surfacing from the snog looks across at me for the first time and says: “Who’s your little friend?”
Girl Friends has been described a funny but hard-hitting read for teenagers. Their parents, teachers and social workers might learn a few things too!