After a year of trying to read proper books, I’ve cracked and gone back to reading what I know and love: Young Adult novels. The first of which was one I saw recommended on a few YA blogs (including Wondrous Reads) and my first read for the British Books Challenge – debut novel by Sita Brahmachari, Artichoke Hearts.
I could feel myself welling up from page fifty when the main character’s dying grandmother goes to visit the art-shop for the last time. Towards the end of the book I was in tears. There is something so touchingly simple about this book that you cannot help but wonder what will happen to twelve-year-old Mira, her grandmother and Mira’s burgeoning interest in her classmate Jide Jackson, a boy with more to him than meets the eye.
The main arch of the novel is the way Mira deals with grief for the first time, but Brahmachari gentle description of other new eye-opening experiences, like Mira’s discovery over the genocides in Rwanda is dealt with in an honest and un-patronising manner, something which sadly is not always the case (particularly in YA novels).
I slowed down the speed I usually read in order to savour this book, I was that taken with it. And I’ve already recommended it to three other people. It’s a truly delightful, subtle yet powerful read. Highly recommended.