No Use Crying; Zannah Kearns. 311 pages.
FROM THE BOOK JACKET:
The discovery of a grandfather Niki thought had died years ago means a sudden move to London and the start of a whole new life.
Niki has to learn quickly to fit in and survive in the school halls and on the tough streets. And at the same time she must get to know her grandad and come to terms with the fact that her mum has been hiding the truth.
But when Niki suddenly discovers her mum’s biggest lie of all, could it change their relationship – and Niki’s own sense of identity – for good?
This warm and powerful coming-of-age story is a sparkling debut from a brilliant fresh talent, filled with colourful characters that will stay with you long after the book is finished.
While this book didn’t really leave any impression on me, it was an interesting read. The story follows Niki, her mother, and her grandfather when the three begin living together in London. Niki meets and assortment of wacky characters that she befriends and begins to feel like she belongs in this huge city. Having moved around quite a lot due to her mother’s job, though, she doesn’t know if she is secure in this new life, especially with all of the secrets.
Niki struggles with the secrets her mum’s been keeping, trying to fit in at her eccentric new school, and finding her father once she learns he is living nearby. Niki’s mother wants to keep her daughter safe from her own past, and is confused about the side of her father she hasn’t seen. Niki’s grandfather is regretful of mistakes he made with his wife and daughter, and is looking to rectify them now that he somewhat has his family back. All must deal with their own and each other’s issues and come to resolutions as a new family.
This book is diverse and deals with relevant issues related to being raised by a single parent and fitting in to a new environment, all while trying to establish identity. For the older characters, it is about finding peace with the past and trying to start a new chapter. I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t connect with the characters and story, but I found the book just okay.