Sunday, 19 August 2018

Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow: A Book Review*

Usually when I get a new book to read, it can take me quite a while to get into it and connect with the characters. However, as soon as I received Siobhan Curham's new novel in the post, I could tell that I was going to be turning the pages like crazy, because it has the sort of storyline that grips you right from the start.

Throughout the story, the chapters narrative switches between both of the main characters, Stevie and Hafiz. Stevie is a young girl, living in the town of Lewes, East Sussex, but she used to live in London with both of her parents up until her Dad's death. It's now just her and her Mum, trying (albeit struggling) to get through each day as best as they can. Stevie's main passion in life is music and it's what keeps her going during these tough times.

Hafiz is a young boy from Syria, who has recently been able to move to the UK from Syria. He absolutely adores football, but since going through the treacherous journey across the world, he hasn't had chance to participate in it.

Here's the description from Amazon, if you would prefer to read it:

Fourteen-year-old Stevie lives in Lewes with her beloved vinyl collection, her mum ... and her mum's depression. When Stevie's mum's disability benefits are cut, Stevie and her mother are plunged into a life of poverty. But irrepressible Stevie is determined not to be beaten and she takes inspiration from the lyrics of her father's 1980s record collection and dreams of a life as a musician. Then she meets Hafiz, a talented footballer and a Syrian refugee. Hafiz's parents gave their life savings to buy Hafiz a safe passage to Europe; his journey has been anything but easy. Then he meets Stevie...
As Stevie and Hafiz's friendship grows, they encourage each other to believe in themselves and follow their dreams.

Over the years, I have read some incredibly moving books, but I've never read anything quite as gripping as this one. It's not often that you will find something which compiles a variety of difficult topics together, but that's exactly what Siobhan does here. I became engaged right from the first page and I genuinely didn't want to put it down!

The storyline is guaranteed to make you realise that other people all around you and all over the world could be living a totally different, complicated lifestyle. You may think that you have it hard because you can't afford a new MAC lipstick, but there could be people up the road from you that are trying to hatch a plan to get a voucher for the food bank that day. It's hard-hitting, but in the right way, as you begin to see things from the perspective of Stevie and Hafiz themselves, like they are pupils in your local secondary school. It doesn't become overwhelming or too harrowing in any way.

Whenever I read any book, I like to think about the lessons that I could take away from it. I wanted to share with you some of the main ones that I found when reading 'Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow'.

  • You can be whoever you want to be if you don't give in to other people's expectations and pay attention to their irrelevant insults. It's your life that you're living, not theirs, so you should be the one who knows what you want to do with it and what steps you're going to take to get there.
  • You never truly know what other people are thinking or feeling and you could get yourself worked up over it for days on end when they may actually have the utmost respect and admiration for you and the things that you're aiming for and achieving. 
  • You should strive to never take any notice of societal stereotypes. You will find that the majority of the time, they are totally inaccurate and actually very damaging in more ways than one. Get to know someone's story 100% before you dare to judge what they have experienced.
  • People often spend their life considering insults to be hurtful in the hope of putting you off, so that you feel down about your dreams and your ambitions. Use them as your motivation. Allow them to rise you up. 

It can sometimes be a challenge to write about subjects like racism, mental health, family problems and ones similar but Siobhan definitely does the job justice. 
I think this is an important read for any teenager or young person, because it will open your eyes to issues you may never have even thought about properly before and it will also make you think twice before you speak.
Sometimes you just need to be kind to people. If someone new joins your school, college or University, go out of your way to be kind to them and offer to be their friend. You could be the only person who does that and imagine how you would both feel if you knew they were on their own, alone. If you know someone you follow on social media is having a rough time with it all, send them a message, asking if they would like to talk. Make sure your kindness and open-minded nature don#t go unnoticed.

If you would like to make a purchase of this new release, or check out more of what Siobhan does, you can do so by following any of the links below!

Buy 'Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow' on Amazon HERE
Check out Siobhan Curham's Website HERE
Follow Siobhan Curham on Twitter HERE
Follow Siobham Curham on Instagram HERE

Lots of love always,

* This book was very kindly sent to me to review by Siobhan Curham herself. However, all opinions are my own, as always.*


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