Title: Stones
Author: Polly Johnson
Genre:  Contemporary
Published: Publisher: Authonomy (December 9, 2013)
Source: Free eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review




A vivid, compelling and intensely moving novel from an exciting new voice in young adult fiction.


Coo is trying to cope with the hand that life has dealt her. At sixteen, she feels she’s too young to have lost her older brother, Sam, to alcoholism. She’s skipping school to avoid the sympathy and questions of her friends and teachers, and shunning her parents, angry that they failed to protect her, and desperate to avoid having to face the fact that, towards the end, she began to wish Sam would leave forever – even die. Then, one day, truanting by the Brighton seafront, Coo meets Banks, a homeless alcoholic and she’s surprised to discover that it is possible for her life to get more complicated.
Despite warnings from her friends and family, Coo and Banks develop an unlikely friendship. Brought together through a series of unexpected events, strange midnight feasts, a near drowning and the unravelling of secrets, together they seek their chance for redemption. That is, until Coo’s feelings start getting dangerously out of hand.


REVIEW (4 stars)

After years of terror from her alcoholic brother , Corinne finally gets peace after her older brother is dead. She is not too sad or grieving much, but she's afraid of revealing her true feelings to others.  She feels her thoughts are not appropriate. Corinne is more pissed than sad, because her brother had made her life like hell. Her parents had been there, doing nothing. And now, she feels like her brother is praised as  some hero by her parents. 

Stones is an emotionally draining story about loss, secrets, misinterpretations and messed up family life, where  too many mistakes are cumulated to the point it's difficult to make a face that everything is okay. Do feelings are less important if they belong to 16- year old girl? Why some problems are more relevant than others?

Characters are flawed, every each of them. Like in life, again. But I think Corinne's friends, Raven and Joe, were not fully developed. 

Stones is not a sugarcoated story. It describes realistically dysfunctional family life and friendship. No matter how great are the intentions, though, sometimes helping a person is up to the problematic person oneself.