Sunday, 2 March 2014

Because of Her by KE Payne

Seventeen year old Tabitha Morton, (Tabby) is devastated. Her family have moved down to London from the northeast of England. Tabby feels like her life is on a downward spiral having left her girlfriend, Amy, in the northeast after declaring her undying love. How could her life not suck? After all, two years is a long time to be together, just to be torn apart.

To top everything and put the icing on the cake, Tabby’s parents have enrolled her in the very posh Queen Victoria Independent School for Girls. They are hoping this will put Tabby back on track with her studies and make a lady of her.

Tabby is not impressed and sets out to thwart and hamper her parents at every turn. She detests her school, causes disruptions and her relationship with her parents drops to an all time low.

The day Tabby meets Eden Palmer, she begins to have second thoughts about school and her move to London. Is it so bad after all?

When Tabby’s girlfriend, Amy, visits one weekend, their reunion is a disaster. Amy has some news which may not go down too well with Tabby. In light of Amy’s revelation, Tabby knows she has choices to make. She needs to find a new path to follow.

Eden is hiding a secret and battling some personal issues. But, she introduces some new possibilities and directions for them both.

Tabby slowly begins to allow the changes to alter her way of thinking and begins to turn her life around. All these changes are because of her.

Although this is a young adult book, don’t let that stop you from buying it and enjoying it. I was hooked in from the first page right the way through to the last page. KE Payne has a wonderful way with words and her stories are well written and emotionally charged. She really seems to get into the teenage mind. Although I’m well past my teens, I could still identify with the feelings Tabby and Eden were experiencing. In fact, I couldn’t put this book down once I’d started it and read well into the night to finish it.

Both Tabby and Eden are well developed, multi-faceted characters, and are backed up by a wealth of secondary characters to interact and progress the story forward at a nice steady pace. Some are friends, some are insufferable and not nice to know, but they are all essential to the story.

There is a lot crammed into this book and KE Payne has managed to get the point across that it is okay to be gay. We follow Tabby who knows what she is, what she wants and who she wants, to the indecisive Eden, who, although deep down, she suspects she may be a lesbian, is confused and wants to have her cake and eat it too.

Homophobia, teen angst, teen romance, coming out, keeping secrets, is all dealt with in a sympathetic and understanding way against a back drop of an upper crust school and parents at the end of their tethers with their teenage daughters. Hard for any parent, let alone when you find out your daughter is a lesbian. KE Payne has really shown us what is was like for two very different sets of parents and how they each reacted and handled the situation.

I’m looking forward to reading more from this up and coming author soon.


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