According to her best mate, Emma is one of the most lovely, genuine people ever. According to pretty much everyone else, Emma is a slag. She has slept with quite a lot of boys for a fifteen year-old – but she just wants to feel cared about, that’s all.
The name calling has pretty much driven her out of school. Instead, she spends her time trying to hold her home together: cleaning, tidying, keeping social workers away and trying to stop her little brother going off the rails. All the stuff her mum is too drunk to manage.
Life is looking kind of hopeless until Scott comes along. He sees her differently. But Scott is not only older and married, he’s also her school attendance officer.
Stanhill: Pound shops, graffiti and teenage mums pushing prams. This is Tash’s new home thanks to Mum splitting with another bloke. It’s no place for a year ten girl to let on she’s a straight A student who likes writing poetry – especially not a year ten girl who knows too well what it’s like to be bullied.
So Tash fits right in, catching the eye of the notorious Kevin O’Reilly. He’s big built, with stubble, grazed fists and bags of charm. He introduces Tash to a new life starting with a house party on the Edge Park Estate: DJs and MCs, tunes with gunshot beats, weed smoke in the air, lines of cocaine on the table, and fights. It’s a far cry from girly sleepovers and cinema trips.
Tash quickly falls for Kev, believing his world is the answer to her problems – that is until she finds herself in a crisis that forces her to explore exactly who she is and make vital choices about her future.
Read an extract here.
Copyright © Catherine Ziva 2017