Sunday 15 April 2018

Truly Wildly Deeply - Jenny McLachlan

Annie is starting college. She can’t wait. No more school, no more uniform, and no one telling her what to do. It’s the start of a new adventure and Annie’s not going to let anyone or anything get in the way of that. Freedom matters to Annie. She has cerebral palsy and she’s had to fight hard to get the world to see her for who she truly is.

Then she meets Fab. He’s six foot two, Polish and a passionate believer in…well, just about everything, but most of all Annie and good old fashioned romance. The moment Fab sees Annie, he’s wildly drawn to her and declares she must be his girl. Annie’s horrified. She doesn’t want to be anyone’s anything, especially if it means losing her independence.

But then Annie finds herself falling for Fab. As things go deeply wrong, Annie realises that love can make you do wild, crazy things, and so she sets out to win his heart with a romantic gesture of truly epic proportions!

I've read a few of Jenny's books now but Truly Wildly Deeply has taken top spot as it could quite easily be describing my best friend from high school. P had cerebral palsy too, and we spent our days in the school library but  unfortunately without the added bonus of our own Fab to brighten our days. The school librarian was male but sadly rather old and not at all good looking!

Annie is at college and, for the first time in her life, independent. She's looking forward to making friends and developing her social life although living with a disability does indeed leave you exhausted, with no energy left by the end of the week and having to decide what takes priority in your life. For a teenager this is twice as hard, I have trouble as a disabled adult, but Annie is soon going to parties and on 'friend' dates with Fab. Except Fab isn't aware these are friend dates and as far as he's concerned Annie is his girl. Which makes her run a mile...

Truly Wildly Deeply is a truly beautiful story of acceptance, friendship, first love, and  relishing teenage independence, even with one of the coolest mom characters I've come across in YA fiction today. I loved her mom's Great British Bake Off habit, maybe without the cheese and onion crisps though! I could go on forever about all the wonderful things in this book, Hilary for example who is a fabulous best friend as anybody who wears yellow glasses would be or the boys in the cafeteria who also have their own quirks, or Jackson, the boy in the train from Annie's old school whose relationship with his girlfriend scared Annie on a daily basis. I won't though. Instead, all I'll do is tell you to read the book yourself, and see what a beautiful thing Jenny has created - a main character whose disability does not define her, who knows that she can do anything she wants to.  Even fall in love...
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