I enjoyed reading Like Other Girls and I think that Claire Hennessy dealt with several difficult issues faced by teens/YA sensitively.
Lauren is a 16 year old girl, who thinks that she doesn’t fit in. She feels like she doesn’t have any real friends at her posh all-girls school. To make matters worse, Lauren’s mother is recently been appointed as head teacher.
She has fallen out with her best friend, Steph or should I say Evan? Lauren is confused about her sexuality. Although she has a boyfriend, whom she feel just uses her for sex, she is also attracted to girls.
Lauren feels overwhelmed by the stress of trying to deal with her friendships, family and her love life. As a result, she starts to drink heavily to escape from her feelings and makes some risky choices.
One drunken night, Lauren breaks up with her boyfriend only to find out that she is pregnant. She doesn’t know who to confide in and feels totally alone. The problem with living in Ireland is that it is impossible to receive any meaningful help so she decides to fly to England for an abortion.
Having gone through this procedure all alone and being unable to talk about it with anyone, Lauren continues drinking heavily and finds her life spiralling out of control.
In an effort to help Lauren, she is convinced to meet with a counsellor. At first, she doesn’t think it will help but slowly comes to realise that it will help her deal with her issues.
Eventually, Lauren confides in her mother and her friends and attempts to take back some control of her life by campaigning for better help for Irish women who find themselves pregnant and in need of intervention. And the best news for Lauren is that she reconciles with her best friend, Steph.
I think that the subjects of teenage pregnancy, abortion, gender identity, sexuality and alcohol abuse are dealt with in a sensitive and thought-provoking manner in this novel.
Teens and young adults should read this book as it explores many subjects that they struggle with.
I would like to thank Bonnier Publishing for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book rates a deserving