Book Review- Mud

Thursday, 30 August 2018
Title: Mud
Author: Emily Thomas
Published: 5th July 2018
Genre: YA

Rating: 5/5 stars

MUD STICKS. AND SO DO LITERARY HEROINESAn achingly funny, touching story for anyone who has been thrown in at the deep end.
‘Smart and funny. It will tug at your heartstrings’ Dawn O’Porter
It's 1979, and thirteen-year-old Lydia has no idea how she'll cope when her dad announces that the family has to sell up and move onto a Thames sailing barge in Essex. With his girlfriend. And her three kids.Between trying to keep her clothes dry in a leaky cabin, disastrous hair-dye attempts, awkward encounters with local boys, and coping with her suddenly enormous and troublesome family, Lydia fears she'll sink rather than swim . . .At turns heartbreaking and uplifting, through Lydia's innocent and perceptive voice we find out that while the mud may stick, the tide can turn - and in unexpected and joyful ways.
Perfect for fans of Louise Rennison, Hilary McKay and Rae Earl -Goodreads
I received an ebook copy of this novel from Net Galley and Penguin Random House UK.
I absolutely loved this novel! Honestly, I thought the blurb sounded good, but I had no idea just how much I would love it, and how much it would speak to me!
This novel is narrated by Lydia, a 13 year old who is dealing with her dad remarrying and both families moving onto a barge on the Thames. Set in the 80s, Lydia has to deal with a new family and a new school, and the perils of being a teenager. 
Lydia is one of the best narrators and one of the best characters I have read in a YA novel in years. She is smart and sensitive and funny. She seems so mature for her age at times, but also so naive, and this duality is so beautifully displayed by the author, Lydia is a character you root for from the very first page. She struggled with her self-esteem at times, and all I wanted was to give her a pep talk about how awesome she was, and how she could do anything she set her mind to. 
I actually really loved all the characters in this novel, I love novels with big families, and Lydia's were so fun and crazy, even if her Dad was really annoying and disappointing at times. 
The plot is crazy at times, some of the things the characters have to deal with are quite extreme, but the plot zips along quickly, and the dialogue between characters is smart and funny.
This novel deals with some difficult topics including bereavement and alcoholism, but they are sensitively and confidently written by the author, and I actually think this novel would be perfect for those children around 11/12+ as well as those in the teenage zone. 
The novel is overall one of hope and love, and I honestly think it's a novel everyone should read. It has a real Enid Blyton feel to it, and I really think it stands beside her work proudly. 
Seriously I cannot recommend this novel enough, a perfect read for both mature children/teens and adults alike, with one of the best and most loveable main characters/narrators I have read in a long time.

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