This is a hard review to write because I don’t want to give away any secrets. In fact, Simon Packham should get readers to sign an agreement whereby they give away as little as possible about this young adult novel. Sixteen year old Lauren has a secret which has caused her family to relocate and for her to start a new school and that secret is so central to the plot. Who else knows about it and whether she will be found out is a major preoccupation for her.
This is placed within a convincing school story with the setting of St Thomas’ Community College, a location which has featured in a number of the author’s previous books. Lauren needs to settle into the school, find new friends and there may even be romance in the air in her first term.
This book is geared perfectly towards its intended audience. It all feels contemporary, relevant and authentic and in Lauren, Packham has an involving and fascinating main character. I cannot remember when I enjoyed a young adult book more and Lauren’s secret kept me guessing throughout. I wouldn’t want to be a member of a reading group who hadn’t quite finished the book when discussions about it began. I suggest you look up nothing else about this book in case other reviewers are not as guarded as me. My message to teenagers is read this book and pass your enthusiasm on, don’t Tweet or Facebook about the plot. I’m off to discover more of Simon Packham’s books………………….
I have also reviewed this book for nudge-books.com and newbooks magazine.
Only We Know was published by Piccadilly in 2015