Dear Dylan by Siobhan Curham
Release date: March 28, 2010
“I’m so tired of feeling sad. And waiting for other people to make me happy and they don’t. And if no-one else is going to make you happy, well maybe you just have to do it for yourself?”
Fourteen year old Georgie Harris feels as if the summer holidays are over before they have even begun. Banned from going to the local drama workshop by her bully of a step-dad and her increasingly fragile mum, she is consigned to six long weeks of looking after her tooth-fairy obsessed kid sister. Sick of feeling like the outsider at home and at school, she starts emailing the one person she thinks might understand; Dylan Curtland, star of the popular soap opera Jessop Close. And when Dylan starts emailing back, Georgie finally feels a spark of hope. At last she has someone who really gets her, someone who really wants to help. But in the faceless world of email all is not as it seems…
Dear Dylan was an emotional and original novel and I'm so glad I had this opportunity to read it! It was written entirely in emails, but it worked SO WELL! The two characters exchanging emails put all their thoughts and experiences into these emails, so it felt like I was reading chapters instead of emails.
Georgie was a character I loved right away. She was so honest and sweet that I felt a connection to her from the start. Her family was in turmoil. Her mother was stuck in an abusive relationship and had no time for Georgie. Her step father was cruel and thoughtless of Georgie and only cared for his daughter, Georgie's half sister, Michaela. I wanted to just grab Georgie's mother and shake her, get her to realize what an awful relationship she was in and how she was not paying attention to her daughter at all. The best thing about Georgie was how brave she was. Through it all she stayed strong and her emails always brought a smile to my face. She was so lively, spirited, and funny.
Not only did Siobhan Curham discuss abuse and how it can impact a family in Dear Dylan, she also proved that sometimes the friends who are liked and trusted aren't always the right ones after all. Jessica was awful to Georgie and she really got her comeuppance in the end!
While there were a few characters I disliked right away (and was supposed to!), Curham also introduced some fantastic characters that I will remember for a long time. I loved Nan! She was entertaining, honest, and so sweet to Georgie. She always offered great advice and was there for Georgie when she had no one else to turn to. The love interest, Jamie, was a caring and endearing guy who only wanted the best for Georgie. I loved watching their relationship grow throughout the story.
Dear Dylan was an entertaining novel, that dealt with some darker issues, but never the less proved you should never give up. Siobhan Curham is a great writer, and the email format made me become that much more attached to the main characters.
The plot was original and detailed, and there were a lot of sub-plots, but everything tied together in the end. Overall, Dear Dylan was an emotional, funny, and endearing novel that I loved from the start. I can't wait to read more by Siobhan Curham in the future!
Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars