Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow, don’t stop… it’ll soon be here. And by that, Fleetwood Mac obviously meant my review of Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow by Siobhan Curham.
Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow by Siobhan Curham
Publication Date: 1st August 2018
Publisher: Walker Books
Format: Paperback, 343 pages
Synopsis: Stevie is passionate about music. It’s what keeps her going when things are particularly difficult at home. Hafiz loves football. But he’s hardly played since he set out on the long journey from Syria. Together the two forge a unique friendship that will help save them both.
I was excited to hear that a new book was on its way from Siobhan Curham, as I had enjoyed her previous novels, The Moonlight Dreamers and its sequel Tell It To The Moon when I read them last year. When Siobhan offered the opportunity to book lovers to receive a copy of Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow to read and review, I couldn’t resist putting my hand up. I honestly thought she would tell me to jog on, so I couldn’t believe my luck when she said yes. The book arrived a few days later, accompanied with the loveliest handwritten note that I will be sure to treasure.
“Anne Frank. Malala. Stevie Nicks,” I whisper as I lie in bed gazing at a crack in the ceiling, wishing I could get sucked up inside it, genie-style. “Anne Frank. Malala. Stevie Nicks.” I do this every time I’m feeling close to vomiting with dread – like before a science test or a sports day or a dental appointment when I know I need a filling. I say the name of my heroines to remind myself that even the very worst of challenges can be overcome.
Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow follows the lives of two teenagers growing up in Lewes, a small town close to Brighton. Told in alternating perspectives, we follow the lives of music lover Stevie and Syrian refugee Hafiz. When Stevie’s dad died, her mum fell into a deep depression and hasn’t been able to work in years. With little money to buy food or new school shirts, Stevie seeks solace in music. After two years of travelling across land and sea, Hafiz has made it to England, but still bears the mental scars of the journey. He longs to be reunited with his family, who are still trapped in Syria, and play football with friends. When Hafiz is seated next to Stevie on his first day of high school, an unlikely friendship is born between the two of them.
An emotional yet hopeful story with issues such as poverty, bullying, grief and mental health, Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow is another Curham classic. Told in an engaging style of short chapters and alternating perspectives, I gobbled up this book in two days. Even though this book could have been overwhelmed by the seriousness of both Stevie’s and Hafiz’s situations, it keeps a positive and encouraging tone throughout.
Out of the two characters, Stevie was definitely my favourite character. Being a big music lover myself, I enjoyed seeing the choice of songs included in Stevie’s ‘little book of big song wisdom’ – I’m not sure about the U2 recommendation though! *winks* However, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t have a soft spot for Hafiz though, because I did. Through Hafiz’s story, it is evident how much research Siobhan has done in order to represent his story in a thoughtful and compassionate manner. Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow is currently a standalone book, but personally, I would love a sequel in the future, as I want to find out what is next for both of these characters. Will Stevie be discovered and catapulted into musical stardom? Will Hafiz play for England in the World Cup? I need to know!
Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow is a book that can be enjoyed by all readers of YA fiction, but I need to point out that there are some horrible things said to Hafiz in this book which may upset some younger readers. I applaud Siobhan for not sugarcoating the discrimination that Hafiz faces as unfortunately, these things DO happen to people like Hafiz in real life. You only have to read some of the mainstream UK newspapers to get an idea of what I mean.
The last two books I read from Siobhan left me feeling uplifted and positive after I finished the final page, and I am delighted to say Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow is no exception to this rule. Siobhan is incredibly passionate about this book and its message – of compassion, unity and friendship – and I hope this review has encouraged you to pick up a copy. On a final note, I haven’t been able to stop listening to Fleetwood Mac for the past few weeks. Help me.