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The Yearbook – Holly Bourne

Working on the school newspaper, Paige is used to dealing with fake stories. How popular girl Grace is a such an amazing person (lie). How Laura steals people’s boyfriends (lie). How her own family are so perfect (lie).

Now Grace and friends have picked their “best” high-school moments for Paige to put in the all-important Yearbook. And they’re not just fake. They’re poison.

But Paige has had enough of all the lies in her life. And with the help of Elijah – the only boy who could ever understand her – she’s going to reveal the truth.

Holly Bourne is the queen of UKYA and has had this title for a long time. Her latest book The Yearbook shows just why she deserves this title with how extraordinary, real, hard-hitting and thought-provoking it is.

One thing that Holly Bourne always manages to do, is make her books relatable to so many people. Even if, like me, you left high school quite a few years ago. You never forget being bullied but you also never forget how much you can change over the course of your high school years. This book made me feel proud of where I’ve come from since high school and I’m sure it will help so many young adults through a challenging time at high school. 

I adore the characters in this book, especially Paige. She is realistic, relatable and a character all readers are bound to connect with in some way. So many of us have felt like Paige does, invisible in school. It is amazing to see how Paige grows throughout this book. Both throughout her school years but most importantly on her journey towards accepting herself and discovering who she truly is. Paige is a very relatable YA main character. Also, the love interest in this storyline has my heart. He is endearing, caring and what we all wish the love interests in our lives were always like.

The romance itself is not at all corny and feels incredibly realistic. It is sweet, heart-warming and put a huge smile on my face. It also does not take over the book and all the important things that it is tackling. It is more of a background thing much like it would have been in real-life. 

The Yearbook discusses bullying, emotional and domestic abuse and parental neglect. So, please be mindful of this before reading this book. These topics are discussed with great thought and clearly a lot of research, sensitivity reading and care has gone into portraying these issues. The issues that the main character and those other being bullied at school face really strikes a chord with you as a reader and will certainly make you think.

Despite the heavy topics in this book, the pacing is incredibly fast. I couldn’t put this book down and it kept me curious enough that I had to keep reading. I wanted to know more about Paige and her struggles and what her next move would be. Following Paige on her path towards discovering who she is whilst sticking to her core values and beliefs was a truly exciting one. I loved that we get to see Paige find a sense of freedom from the fear she is facing and unconditional love too. This book has a beautiful message!

Overall, The Yearbook is an extraordinary book that everyone should read. It is perfect for those still in high school, those just leaving high school and even those who left high school years ago. This book is well worth the read!

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