Someone Different by Kate Hanney
Two very different backgrounds; two young people who need each other.
When teenagers Jay and Anna are thrown together unexpectedly, their secret love ignites.
But when his world of neglect and physical abuse, youth crime and illegal drugs, collides with Anna’s parents’ high expectations for her education and show-jumping success, how long can that love survive, and what will be the cost along the way?
SOMEONE DIFFERENT is a story of how teenage love struggles to survive when the realities of parents, friendships, prejudice and deprivation get firmly in its way. Set against the contrasting backdrops of an inner-city housing estate and an idyllic country estate, the book takes its readers on a dramatic, compelling and sometimes violent journey, in which the characters' only defence against all of this, is each other.
For the most part I enjoyed Someone Different. You just can't help but feel bad for Jay. Sure he made some not so smart choices and he pays for them, but he also has a horrible home life. Once he meets Anna it does seem like he really wants to change and be a better person, and he does start to fix his issues and try to be better. Unfortunately his past does keep catching up to him.
Anna is a rich girl whose parents don't really seem to listen or pay actual attention to her. They are constantly doing whatever they want under it being the best for her, what she would want. Anytime she makes an objection they don't listen. It was nice to see her grow some and get some backbone to stand up for herself.
The two of them together were very sweet. Even though they have to sneak around because Anna's parents would never approve, they make it work. Yes it causes some issues, but they work through it as best they can. They did have some allies which help and they were just really cute together.
So what were some of my issues with the book? Well just two things. One is the dialogue. Sometimes the way Jay spoke was really hard to understand. Those parts were written like the words would be spoken, but there were not enough instances of this for the reader to get into that and be able to quickly read it. It was not like Trainspotting where at first I found it difficult to read, but then you get used to it and it is no big deal. Because these written like the words are spoken sections were not constant it kept pulling me out of the story when they did occur. Not a huge deal, but slightly annoying for me.
My other issue, my bigger issue, is that no one ever acknowledges Anna's obvious eating disorder. Whenever the scene involved food she just pushed it around on her plate and hardly eats anything ever. Jay would comment on how skinny she was, how her wrist was too thin and how could she be that skinny. Does he say anything about it? No. Well not really. Food does come up once and she tells him how she eats more when he is around then when not because when he is not there she just can't swallow the food. So she eats a little bit, but not much. I thought great, now there can be a conversation on her getting help or something. Nope. Obviously she has problems and that could cause some serious issues for her health wise, but it never really gets mentioned. There is no getting her help for her eating disorder, or even her parents acknowledging that she has one (it seems like her mom might know based on some of the dinner scenes, but if she is on to Anna she doesn't do anything about it either). It just upset me a bit that no one does anything about. No one tries to help her and it is never explicitly mentioned.
Overall though I did really enjoy the story. It was sweet and you just want everything to work out for them. Yes the end is a little too convenient but that is the way these things work sometimes.