Boys don’t break your heart; best friends do. A funny touching story about friendship from the Guardian’s “writer to watch” Non Pratt, author of Trouble – one of the most talked about debuts of the year. Kaz is still reeling from being dumped by the love of her life. Ruby is bored of hearing about it. Time to change the record. Three days. Two best mates. One music festival. Zero chance of everything working out.
Non Pratt is an author that I’ve never read anything by. I’ve heard loads of great things about Trouble, so when I was sent a copy of Remix I was pretty eager to read it. As a teenager I loved going to gigs and festivals so I thought this book, about music and friendship was going to be so up my alley. Unfortunately it just wasn’t for me.
The book follows two main characters – Kaz and Ruby. Kaz has recently been dumped by Tom, and hopes the weekend at the festival will be just what she needs to win him back. Ruby on the other hand has found boyfriend Stu was cheating on her, and is looking to get over their relationship. I thought the book would be about their friendship and the bands they were going to see with some fun and laughter along the way but it predominantly focused on relationships and their various different partners over the course of the weekend. There was plenty of cheating, one night stands and break ups going on over the three day setting, and while I’m sure plenty of people will enjoy that aspect of the story, I was left feeling a little disappointed by the lack of chapters about the bands they were going to see, what happened during the shows etc.
The other thing that really bothered me was the structure of this book. The book has alternating point of views between Ruby and Kaz, but they last maybe half a page before switching to the other character. For the first chunk of the book I was trying to remember which one was Kaz and which one was Ruby and which boy they were associated with. I wished the chapters had just been laid out with each character having a full few pages each. I think this would have allowed me to enjoy the book a whole lot more and get into the characters.
Kaz and Ruby are likeable enough characters, they’re young teenagers growing up and having fun, but I found their motivations a little difficult to understand, and that also made the read a little frustrating. Both of them knew what they were doing was hurting their best friend, yet they continued to lie and keep secrets, making all the situations worse. Both characters for me spent a large portion of the book moaning and crying about their respective situations, and that just wasn’t what I wanted to read for 300 pages.
The book felt very cliche and the whole Ruby having sex with a band member thing just seemed ridiculous when she’s only 16. All in all I was really disappointed in Remix, it definitely wasn’t a book for me. If you’re a fan of books about relationships and all the drama involved, you might have much more luck with this one.