By Siobhan Curham, published by Electric Monkey.
Claire Weeks is browsing the second-hand book tables on the Southbank when she pulls out a copy of ‘So you want to write a novel?’ by Agatha Weeks. Claire starts writing her own book about her life, and thinks she will have to exaggerate her own life to make it exciting, but she is so wrong. Enter Claire’s long lost father, the rock ‘n’ roll loving street-singer, who tells Claire that she is actually called Cherokee- Cherokee Brown. Cherokee starts a new life, full of adventure, where she finds out who she really is.
Ever since I saw that there was another book coming from Siobhan Curham, I’ve been an even bigger jumping-up-and-down-impatiently-waiting-and-extremely-excited fangirl than I usually am. When this came in the post, I was so excited to start it! In my opinion, this is probably the best piece of contemporary fiction I have read this year. I simply couldn’t stop reading, and finished it in a few hours! Cherokee was such an amazing protagonist, with a well developed, realistic personality and a big heart. I loved reading about her so much. Her narration was absolutely brilliant, and I especially liked the ‘notebook extracts’ in-between some chapters. They were very fun to read, and as they were character profile pieces that Cherokee had written about herself, Harrison, and her dad, they gave a really great insight into what Cherokee thought of the new men in her life, as well as herself. Also, I really loved the character of her Dad- a street singer, who dresses a bit like a hippy and drives around in his campervan. He was so unique and unlike any other fictional Dad I’ve encountered. I loved the relationship that developed throughout the book between him and his daughter- there was a really strong bond between them even though they had only met about ten times. As well as that, I loved the connections to music in the story that he made (I haven’t listened to many of the rock songs that play a big part in his life, but I really want to now!).
The plot was very fun, and well structured. It dealt with lots of very common problems that teenagers face today- Bullying, Stepfamilies, and first love. Siobhan Curham’s writing made these events in Cherokees life really realistic and understandable, and I found myself sympathizing with the characters a lot. However, as well as dealing with some very sad themes, this story was upbeat and funny at parts too. I enjoyed this story of freedom and discovery so much. Despite the difficulties in Cherokee’s life, she had some great times finding out who she really was. I loved seeing her make the journey from being plain, dull Claire Weeks to becoming the cool and quirky Cherokee Brown.
In total, Finding Cherokee Brown is an unforgettable book that leaves you thinking about it way after you put it down. It had some of the greatest characters I’ve seen in a while, and a well-thought-out plot with lots of great twists, and a satisfying ending. Recommended to fans of Annabel Pitcher- this book had lots of heart, humour, and tears. I can’t wait for a next book from this brilliant author!