AARON is the new boy at school. He doesn’t want to attract attention.
So why does Aaron offer to be the pretend dad to Hannah’s unborn baby?
Growing up can be trouble but that’s how you find out what really matters.
It is almost embarrassing to admit that you LOVE a book that has sperm swimming all over the front cover but this debut novel from Non Pratt deserves nothing other than five stars.
Trouble tells the story of two protagonists – Hannah and Aaron. Written in the first person, the story flits back and forth between the two teens who tell their version of events in the most believable of voices. Hannah is promiscuous, loud and pregnant. Aaron is shy, reserved and quiet. And it is when these two differing characters come together that you realise true friendships are found in the most unexpected of places.
Non Pratt’s skill as a writer lies in her ability to write as a 15 year old with utter credibility. She has managed to capture the thoughts and behaviours of teenage friendship groups perfectly and, whilst reading, I found myself relating events back to my own youth spent hanging out at the park and attending house parties.
Although the story is centered around Hannah and her unplanned pregnancy, it was Aaron that I was drawn to as we saw the events unfolding through his eyes. The teens meet at an old people’s home, a place that Aaron often goes to visit his friend Neville. It is made clear that Aaron comes here each week to try and right a wrong that he committed several years ago. Aaron is wracked with guilt, and it is with this mission to atone for his sins, that he offers to be the father to Hannah’s unborn baby. What follows is exactly what you would expect from two teenagers in an unusual and unique situation.
Trouble is a light read with heavy issues that are dealt with exquisitely. Non Pratt has managed to weave in many important messages, particularly for teenage girls, relating to sex, pregnancy, abortion, relationships, birth and death. This would be a fantastic book to use in schools and I hope, with the help of this review, that it makes it’s way out there into the big wide world of the ‘Nonn-readers’. (I’m getting very good at these end of review puns.)