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This book surprised me, from the cover I could not have guessed it would be a modern YA fiction. This book certainly has a bit more grit than the usual YA books. Brooke is a modern heroine that has to deal with adversity (the death of her mother) and everyday teenage dilemmas. Her way of dealing with grief is to party, drink and smoke pot. She is a normal teenager that is on the cusp of going off the rails. Her father’s rather novel solution; to drag them all on a reality TV show, I found really refreshing and original as a story line. The writer’s immaculate research into 1860’s America showed through as Brooke had to dress, cook and take care of personal hygiene with only 1860’s means. Hilarious but also brutal as an attempt at shaving legs goes pear-shaped. A stark reminder that we do live a comfortable and privileged life now. (Especially women, my god what would we do without our monthly sanitary products!)
The message of the book is firmly in YA territory; live a clean and simple life, value your nearest and dearest and don’t throw yourself at the first boy that shows an interest. I liked this book a lot and would recommend this to YA and adult readers alike. Enough plot twist and turns to keep me interested.