Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Saving Daisy by Phil Earle

Publisher: Puffin
Format: Paperback
Published: 5th January 2012
Number of Pages: 352
Book: For Review*
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic-Fiction, Psychological-Thriller, Mental Health, YA
Recommended Age: 14+
Contains: Strong Smoking, Swearing, Drinking, Mild Drug Reference, Self-Harming, Violence, Death
Author's Site: Phil Earle

“For as long as I could remember it was always about the three of us.
And Mum’s shadow.”

Daisy’s mum is gone.
Her Dad refuses to talk about it.
As far as Daisy’s concerned, it’s all her fault.
As her life starts to spiral out of control, panic leads to tragedy and Daisy’s left alone.

But sometimes the kindness of a stranger can turn things around.
A stranger who desperately wants to save Daisy –
if she’ll only let herself be saved…

I cried, I laughed, I loved, I grieved.  Saving Daisy was an emotional roller-coaster – one I adored and was sad to leave.  Or, more precisely, I was heartbroken to leave Daisy: I really, really loved her and Ade too.
Daisy never knew her Mum.  Her Dad won’t – can’t – talk about her.  In Daisy’s eyes, it was her fault.
As the fear, the misplaced guilt over her Mum’s death gets stronger and stronger; her ways of coping become violent, extreme.  But the one person she decides to trust does something they shouldn’t have, and once more Daisy tells herself she’s to blame.  Her life spirals out of control, and before she knows it, Daisy is all alone.
She doesn’t want help, doesn’t think she deserves it.  She’s bad luck in her eyes: everyone she lets in gets hurt or hurts her.  But can the kindness of a single stranger, one who is desperate to help, be enough to bring her back from brink.  Will Daisy Houghton even let herself be saved?
I love contemp books, especially ones that made me think, feel and (although I don’t know why I like it so much) cry.  Saving Daisy made me do all three of these things and more.  I loved every moment, wrapped up in Daisy’s world, her fears.  I was so completely addicted from start to finish, unable to put the book down, desperate to know what happened to Daisy…  By the end I desperately wanted to read the whole book all over again, and I need Being Billy.
Daisy Houghton was a wonderful girl: snarkily funny, film-addicted, clever…  She was also drowning in her fear and guilt.  I loved her from the word go, constantly telling her “It’s not your fault Daisy!”  She was so scared, betrayed by the ones she let it, always on the edge of everything.   To begin with I thought her guilt was ridiculous, but in her mind, she really thought she was responsible.  I felt so bad for her because I loved her so much.  She was just so strong, so stubborn and she had to grow up so fast.  I loved it when we got to see the sweet, grieving side of Daisy, rather than the guilt-ridden, self-blaming one.  She was so real to me: it felt like I was the only one she trusted…
Ade, Daisy’s key-worker, was lovely!  The moment she walked in, she made Daisy feel better, like she was “being saved”, and made me smile.  She really looked out for Daisy, was really smart, laidback, instructive without being bossy…  She was just so strong, and really understood Daisy and I loved her so much! 
Bellfield, the place Daisy was sent to “find the answer” was amazing: You had so many different characters… The overly friendly, sweet Susie, who didn’t really understand personal space.  The argumentative, snarky, slightly violent Patrick.  The constantly texting, perhaps-perhaps-not delusional, laidback Jimmy, who couldn’t quite tell the difference between fantasy and reality.  The moody, short-tempered, irrational, unpredictable Naomi.  The various careers: young, laid-back Floss; efficient, friendly, respected-by-all Bex; the lovely, kind, patient Ade.  All the different personalities made for a chaotic, volatile, never-dull place.  My favourite was by far Jimmy (Ade not included): I loved Jimmy-style therapy: watching washing machines – “sweet”!  You definitely have the “X-Factor” Jimmy!
The writing was amazing.  It was raw, emotional, powerful, addictive.  It was teenager, but the voice of a teenager who knows too much.  It was Daisy.  100%.  I adored the descriptions, brilliant but not too heavy.  I just loved the edginess, everything.  I just loved Earle’s writing.  Enough said!
I thought the plot would be straight forward from the blurb.  Boy was I wrong!  There were twists I never saw coming, plot turns I never would have thought of, character changes that surprised me.  I loved every turn, every unpredictable development.  I was completely hooked from start to finish.
What struck me straight away about Saving Daisy were the emotions.  Instantly, I was tangled in Daisy’s head, not exactly sure where my emotions stopped and hers began.  It felt like I was drowning in Daisy’s feelings, in my own.  It was overwhelming, in the very best way.  I was so wrapped up in the book, in Daisy: invested.  It was a roller coaster of emotions, the main ones pain, sadness, grief, love and sympathy.  I was almost constantly on the verge of tears, so the little bright spots, the small breakthroughs, the parts that made me smile, were even more potent.  But in some probably twisted way, I loved crying, the constant battling emotions.  Crying meant I adored this book and its characters and truly cared about what happened to them.  Because I did.
A heartbroken, guilt-ridden, scarred heroine, afraid to trust or love, a caring, always smiling care worker, with a secret of her own, and the hardest journey of all: facing your fears, you guilt and realising it wasn’t your fault, putting yourself back together…  Saving Daisy was an emotional, powerful read that left my head spinning.  I won’t forget you Daisy.  Not in a long time.

Star Rating:
5 Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Being Billy by Phil Earle

Challenges It's Taking Part In:
* This book was received from Puffin in exchange for an honest review
Happy Reading


Jessica@Booked Up! said...

Hiya, great review and great blog! It's nice you enjoyed the book so much, I must check it out sometime!

Jessica from Booked Up!

:) xxx

Unknown said...

thank you so much, i was desperatly looking for her key-workers name for a project about a book I've read! i loved this book too and didn't realise being billy was the book before that but i am still going to read it!