Title: Truth or Dare
Author: Non Pratt
Published by: Walker Books
Publication date: 1st June 2017
Pages: 304, paperback
Genre: young adult, contemporary
A powerful and moving novel about bravery from the Guardian’s “writer to watch” Non Pratt, perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell, John Green and Holly Bourne. How far is too far when it comes to the people you love? Claire Casey hates being the centre of attention. But if it means getting Sef Malik to notice her, it’s a risk she’s happy to take. Sef is prepared to do anything to help his recently disabled brother. But this means putting Claire’s love – and life – on the line. Because when you’re willing to risk everything, what is there left to lose?
I read this book over the Easter holidays, and it was a book I’d been looking forward to reading ever since I first heard about it. So, the first chance I got, I stole my sister’s ARC off her bookshelf and got stuck in.
Now, as much as I adore YA, it’s unusual for me to find a contemporary YA that I absolutely love – it’s normally the fantasy YA that gets me hooked. But I could not put this book down. Seriously. I took myself to the library, ready to get lots of studying done without an internet connection to distract me, and every 10 minutes I was picking this book up to read just another chapter. Right. We all know how that goes. The point is, this book was utterly addictive, and I enjoyed it immensely.
I found the basic plot of the book really engaging. Essentially, Claire and Sef create a Youtube channel together where they take on truths or dares, whilst wearing masks to hide their identities. Their aim is to raise enough money to pay for Sef’s brother’s care (who has recently been in an accident). I really loved the fact that this book focused on social media a lot, in particular Youtube, as this is such a big part of teenage life today.
This book is jam-packed full of events, and they all contribute to the wider plot. There was never a dull moment – it was equal parts thrilling, adorable and heart-wrenching. Also, Non is totally excellent at exploring a whole host of important subjects (including disability, racism and the media) without it becoming the main focus of the book. And of course books that are focused on these things are very important, but I feel that it is important to have these messages integrated into YA in this way too.
I thought Claire and Sef’s relationship was beautifully written. The development of it was so clear, as a reader you could almost see them falling in love as the story went on. The two of them had brilliant chemistry, and their entire relationship felt very natural and realistic, as it included ups and downs (as a real relationship should). I also liked how it changes POVs from Claire to Sef halfway, rather than flicking between them throughout the story. Although, I’ll be honest, once the book switched to Sef’s perspective, I liked him a whole lot less. However, this just meant that I was able to witness his character development in more detail, which made the end even more satisfying.
This book just gave me a lot of feels, and Non Pratt is a really talented writer. That’s the general message I want to put across in this review. I’ve been meaning to read another of her books, Unboxed, for ages, and now I am determined to find time to do so very soon. No matter to what extent you enjoy contemporary YA, it is virtually impossible to dislike this book, so I insist you all go and read this book once it is out!