‘Remix’ is Non Pratt’s second novel, her first being the brilliant debut ‘Trouble’. The book sees two teenage best friends, Ruby and Kaz, going to a music festival with Ruby’s brother, Lee, and friends. Kaz has just been dumped and Ruby has just done the dumping, so the festival is something of a retreat for both of the girls. Obviously, this is a YA novel so something is going to go wrong, probably catastrophically.
Again, like the last book, the story is told in a dual point of view, split between Kaz and Ruby. I feel like this writing style is perfect for this story, because it heavily reinforces the friendship and bond between the two girls. It also shows them for what they are, almost complete opposites. I guess Non is going for the whole ‘opposites attract‘ with these two. Ruby is a party girl and will flirt with a guy if he is even remotely cute, but Kaz doesn’t drink and doesn’t hunt around for boys to kiss; in fact she’s still a virgin. No matter how different, the bond between the two girls is stronger than the force in Yoda. They have a friendship most can only dream about.
However, also proving that opposites don’t always attract is Non’s inclusion of LGBT+ characters in her books. We saw it first with Gideon in trouble and now with Ruby’s brother Lee and his boyfriend Owen. I feel like Non has painted them in such a way in ‘Remix’ that they seem like normal people. This is exactly how people in the LGBT community should be portrayed and I applaud Non for doing it just right.
My favourite character in this book has to be Ruby. I’m pretty quiet myself and don’t go to parties, but am always inextricably drawn to the wild characters. If there is a wild character in a book, I know that this is going to be a crazy ride for the reader; I’m excited from page one. Ruby is adventurous, out going and she is the kind of person who will defend you until the very end; something shown throughout the book.
The ‘Remix’ festival brings with it unexpected meetings, arguments, drinking, sex and new friends. What more could you want from a YA novel? Sex is something that features in the book and Non spoke out about its necessity, because authors are painting a realistic picture, at the ‘Bringing Sexy Back‘ talk at YALC yesterday. I completely agree, and yes there is sex in Remix. It is honest and not at all smutty. Just the right tone, I thought. This book not only warmed my heart to boiling point, but it made me laugh to the point of crying! There is no denying that Non Pratt is one of the best and one of my favourites in contemporary YA Fiction right now. The tagline for the book is ‘Friends, Music, Lies’, but to me ‘Remix’ means a whole lot more.
A gleaming 5/5 stars is awarded to ‘Remix’ by Non Pratt
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Upcoming reviews include:
- The Sin Eater’s Daughter (Melinda Salisbury)
- Grasshopper Jungle (Andrew Smith)
- We Were Liars (E. Lockhart)