My friend Henrietta’s fab new novel is out now. You can get Control Freak on Amazon for just £6.71
It’s basically Skins meets Hollyoaks meets Jane Austen. And it takes the form of a teenager’s diary as she goes it alone in a shared house, after a life in the care system.
I read it in one go. It’s gripping, moving, vivid, and a brilliant evocation of teenage life in the 21st century. I’d thoroughly recommend it for adults and teens alike.
There are some great characters, from the uptight but loveable ‘control freak’ Holly, to her vulnerable gay brother Ryan, to the mysterious hearthrob Ptolemy.
There are dramatic twists. The dialogue is highly realistic. And there are some really subtle insights into adolescence, family and the scary limbo state of being a care leaver. But it’s not remotely worthy in tone.
As a programme maker, I saw TV potential within the first few pages.
As a former English teacher, I found myself wishing I’d had this as a set book – with its potential for discussions and spin-off projects.
As a media trainer of carers, teenagers in care and care leavers, it felt totally real. It would be an empowering read for any teen in care and an excellent stimulus for discussion.
To quote Jacqueline Wilson, creator of Tracy Beaker, Control Freak is a ‘sincere, simply-told, ultra-convincing story that shows what it’s like to branch out on your own after a childhood in care.’