This book wasn’t quite what I expected; that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. Because I did, or, most of it at least. Jo is that main character, but to me she seems to struggle with who she is and what she is going to do with her life. Hm, that sounds like a lot of teenagers I’ve met (and was myself too). The book starts off a while after her parents have separated, and Jo don’t seem to take it all that well. Nor does her father, because he is drinking a little too much, making Jo the one that needs to be responsible. Jo isn’t sure if she wants to continue at school, or, she is fairly sure she wants to drop out of school. She gets a job in a store, meets a guy (Toby), and they start a relationship (sort of). In my opninion that relationship starts a little to sudden.
Then you have Jo’s friends; Holly and Pascale and Ed. They all care about each other, but have different ways of showing it. The episode that starts off the violence-part of the book, is a scene with a DVD-cover and Jo’s face. This is the important part of the book in my opninion. That violence escalates, and I start to worry about Jo. The blurb on the back of my book mentions labelling people, but that wasn’t the most important part of the book. Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely important, but the self-harm Jo does makes the whole book. It shows how quickly someone who feels like everything is changing, and the need to be able to control something in their life can descend into self-harm.
The self-harm was quick, but slow, and secret from everyone. Which means; if this kind of story might trigger someone; don’t read it! For others; read it, and see that the signs might not be what you think. The self-harm might be hidden from everyone, even loved ones, it’s about control, and not letting people down.
In many ways this book was a quick read, just 234 pages, but the content; not so much. I really liked most of the book, but to me the ending was a little abrupt.
Moderate violence by Veronica Bennett; Rickshaw publishing, ISBN: 978-0-9565368-5-3.