Author: Non Pratt
Publisher: Walker Books
Date: March 2014
Source: ARC from publisher
Buy the Book • Goodreads
In this dazzling debut novel, a pregnant teen learns the meaning of friendship—from the boy who pretends to be her baby’s father.
When the entire high school finds out that Hannah Shepard is pregnant via her ex-best friend, she has a full-on meltdown in her backyard. The one witness (besides the rest of the world): Aaron Tyler, a transfer student and the only boy who doesn’t seem to want to get into Hannah’s pants. Confused and scared, Hannah needs someone to be on her side. Wishing to make up for his own past mistakes, Aaron does the unthinkable and offers to pretend to be the father of Hannah’s unborn baby. Even more unbelievable, Hannah hears herself saying “yes.”
Told in alternating perspectives between Hannah and Aaron, Trouble is the story of two teenagers helping each other to move forward in the wake of tragedy and devastating choices. As you read about their year of loss, regret, and hope, you’ll remember your first, real best friend—and how they were like a first love.
My blogger friends all know I’m not the biggest fan of contemporary, so when I find one I love, I’m telling you guys—it’s really, really good. Trouble is everything I love about UK young adult fiction. It deals with the big issues in a humorous way. It portrays teens realistically. It’s got swearing, sex and snark. Basically, I absolutely adored it
The story is told from both Hannah Shepard and Aaron Tyler. Hannah is smart, fun-loving, with a not-completely-true reputation for promiscuity. Aaron is the new kid in school, escaping his past and trying to be as normal as possible. Then Hannah finds herself pregnant and friendless and the only person who offers to help is Aaron—by pretending to be the baby’s father.
One of the best things about the book is the authenticity of the characters’ voices. Sometimes in books with alternating narrators, I can get confused about who is who, but Hannah and Aaron were so distinct, and I really enjoyed reading from both of their point of views. I loved the realistic teenage reactions, both to the funny and the heart-breaking situations. One of my favourite scenes is about a quarter of the way into the book when I read Hannah’s reaction to her realising she wants to keep her baby and it’s just genius.
Non Pratt is a genius really. It’s really difficult to write about teen pregnancy as it is generally either glossed over, or over damned. In the book, it’s simply a mistake that was made between two people and the reactions of everyone around them. It tackles the subject with humour, sensitivity and a realisation that sometimes things don’t always turn out right. It’s genuine.
Non’s also created some very charming and equally not-so-charming characters that are perfection. I loved Aaron throughout the book. I love that he was nice for the sake of being nice, he didn’t judge, he was supportive and took crap he didn’t deserve. I also loved Hannah, for being brave, vulnerable, standing up for her decisions, and generally how balanced she was about her situation. Mostly, I loved that this book was about the beginning of a wonderful friendship. When Aaron finally lets his guard down about his past to Hannah … it was just such a great moment for them both.
It was also really surprising at times. I didn’t think the book would ‘go there’, story-wise. I was heartbroken about Hannah’s family’s response to her pregnancy. I was utterly shocked when I found out who the father was. It gave me FEELS in spades. And that ending made me smile.
All in all, I highly recommend this to anybody really. I’ll be reading all of Non’s books from now on.