Dawn O’Porter is one of the most fabulous women on the planet. You all should have seen her somewhere at least once before – presenting a TV show/documentary, writing columns for Glamour, raising awareness of breast cancer, on the arm of Chris O’Dowd… There’s literally nothing this gal can’t do. And that’s why I was so excited to hear that she had written a young adult novel.
Goose is actually the second in a series of four novels about friends Renee and Flo. Paper Aeroplanes documented the beginning of their friendship in their final year of school, from getting wasted at a party to the pain of first heartbreak – and just generally growing up. Goose picks up two years later, during the final year of their A Levels, a huge time in a young girl’s life, especially where her best friend is concerned. Will they apply to the same universities? Will they move to the same city? Will they even leave the comfort of their home town? Throw in a dodgy relationship with an older guy, finding God, and coping with the day-to-day burden of being a teenage girl, and things just got a helluva lot more awkward.
The books are told from the alternating points of view of its heroines and it doesn’t take long to pick a favourite, or to discover that you identify with one more than the other. But then, a couple of chapters later, you realise that there is something about both of these girls and, maybe, there’s something like this in all of us. We think we’re the only ones experiencing what we’re going through: meeting our family’s expectations, the pressure of deciding what we want to do with the rest of our lives, the fear of going away and everything changing (friendships, relationships, home). But Goose reminds us of the fact that, actually, we’re not all that different.
At certain points in our lives, we all have to deal with the same life-altering decisions.
I think I remember reading, not long after Goose was released, that the next book in the series will reunite readers with Renee and Flo after university. It’ll be interesting to read about the lives of characters I have grown to love as they battle through the same point of their lives that I am now.
Dawn is ballsy, telling it as it is: bloody periods, awkward sexual encounters and then some!
As a young reader (I don’t like to count how many years ago!), I found that a lot of books aimed at girls my age were far too ‘innocent’. If films could get away with explicit content, shouldn’t the literature we were reading reflect that? I was always reading well above the books targeted at my age range. Now I’m finding pleasure in stories that girls a decade or more younger than me are possibly reading for the first time – and realising that they’re not alone. I’m glad they have that. I’m glad they have Dawn.