Today’s review is about a book I was incredibly excited for; Floored by Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson, and Eleanor Wood. *stops to catch breath*
Floored by Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson and Eleanor Wood
Publication Date: 12th July 2018
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Format: Review copy from Netgalley
Synopsis: When they got in the lift, they were strangers (though didn’t that guy used to be on TV?): Sasha, who is desperately trying to deliver a parcel; Hugo, who knows he’s the best-looking guy in the lift and is eyeing up Velvet, who knows what that look means when you hear her name and it doesn’t match the way she looks, or the way she talks; Dawson, who was on TV, but isn’t as good-looking as he was a few years ago and is desperately hoping no one recognizes him; Kaitlyn, who’s losing her sight but won’t admit it, and who used to have a poster of Dawson on her bedroom wall, and Joe, who shouldn’t be here at all, but who wants to be here the most. And one more person, who will bring them together again on the same day every year.
I’ve racked my brain and I genuinely can’t think of any other book being published this year that was as highly anticipated as Floored. No lie, I was practically foaming at the mouth with jealously at those who were lucky enough to get a sampler at last year’s YALC. In fact, I am still a bit jealous now. When I saw the novel available on Netgalley, I thought I would try my luck and put in a cheeky request, bracing myself for the inevitable decline. I almost (literally) jumped for joy when the approval email came through. I still can’t believe I was one of the chosen ones.
Even though I had the best intentions of reading this book before YALC, I didn’t quite finish it in time as unfortunately, life got in the way. When I came back from YALC, I needed two days to recover, and in that time I finally had time to finish it. Here are my thoughts, albeit a bit later than everyone else’s. *guilty face*
Not one, not two, but SEVEN of the UK’s top YA authors come together in this collaborative novel – Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson and Eleanor Wood. As I was already a big fan of the books of Sara, Holly, Non and Lisa I couldn’t help but have high expectations prior to reading. Tanya, Melinda and Eleanor were authors completely new to me before reading, but now I will definitely be hunting their books down. *bank balance and TBR pile scream simultaneously*
So here we have them: the swot, the fraud, the dutiful daughter, the child star, the fangirl and the asshole. The six of them assembled in an awkward circle, trying not to stand too close to one another in the small lift, and failing.
At UKB, the UK’s biggest broadcaster, seven strangers go in a lift and only six come out. Dawson is a TV has-been, no longer the teenage heart-throb he once was. Kaitlyn is slowly losing her vision due to a degenerative disease but refusing to accept it without a fight. Hugo is the son of the CEO of UKB, and is used to getting anything and anyone he wants. Joe is desperate to work in TV, and is trying to sneak into work experience so he doesn’t have to settle for a job in his small town. Velvet is genuinely on the work experience program and hopes the opportunity will prove people wrong. Last but not least, we have Sasha, who desperately just wants to deliver a parcel to help out her cash-strapped dad. When a stranger suddenly dies in the lift, an unlikely friendship develops between the six of them.
With six different characters and seven different viewpoints, I couldn’t help but worry that Floored would be hard to get into, as I have struggled to read books with large casts of characters in the past. *glares at the A Song of Ice and Fire saga* It turns out there was no need for me to worry, as I was hooked after a few chapters.
Wonderfully authentic and relatable, Floored is a fantastic YA contemporary with six unforgettable characters. I would wholeheartedly recommend Floored to anyone who is looking for a realistic coming-of-age story (or six!) that will make you laugh, cry and laugh some more.
Over the six years this book spans, we watch the young teenagers grow up into young adults making Floored very much a character-driven book. With topics such as sexuality, disability, class, mental health (and even more that I don’t want to name for fear of spoiling) being intertwined into the overarching story, the stories of the Floored six will resonate with teenagers and young adults alike. Even though I haven’t seen The Breakfast Club *boos from the audience*, I can definitely see the comparisons to One Day. *forgiveness from audience*.
The sun’s coming out again, now it’s recovered from the horror of being somewhere they put gravy on their chips.
With each author writing their own character, there is a distinct and memorable voice for each of them throughout, which made it even harder to pick a favourite. After much deliberation, I have chosen Velvet, Kaitlyn and Joe as my winners although I will admit to having a soft spot for Dawson at certain points in the book. In fact, I could quite happily read another book featuring the Floored six. I demand a sequel. Please.
At the time of reading Floored, it was still a mystery as to who had written who. I did try to guess the authors when I first started the book but I quickly gave up; I didn’t want the constant guessing to take the enjoyment out of reading. At the time of writing this review, the authors of each character have been revealed and let’s just say it’s a good job I didn’t commit my guesses to writing.
It will be of no surprise to anyone to see my rating of 5*. Floored had everything I could want from a contemporary novel; believable characters, scenes set in the North (yay!) and dough balls. One thing that I loved about Floored was how it made me think how much can change in a year, and it has made me wonder what my life will be like in 12 months time. I can only hope that in 12 months time I publish my reviews in a timely manner…