Release Date: February 11th 2020
Publisher: ZunTold Publishing
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars
14-year-old Holly is lonely. Her parents are never around after Gran’s Crisis and best friend Amy to Canada, loved-up with her new boyfriend, Gabe. Holly has no-one to hang out with at school apart from moody Ellen and misfit Tim.
Home alone in Brighton with no-one to talk to, Holly is at rock bottom. That is, until she finds Jay. Caring, funny and with so much in common, Jay is the perfect guy. They chat online, but Holly knows to be careful, she’s heard the horror stories. As they grow closer and closer, chatting with Jay is all that makes Holly happy. Mum and Dad’s rows get more intense and Amy’s radio silence continues; the only one who understands is Jay. As Holly lets her guard down, is Jay all he seems? Is Holly in too deep? And is it too late?
Always Here For You is the tense and gripping tale of a young girl named Holly who is struggling with being lonely. Only fifteen, her best friend has moved to Canada and is having the best time without her, and her parents are preoccupied with Holly’s ailing grandmother. Looking for companionship she begins talking to a stranger online. She knows not everyone is who they say they are online but as she begins to feel more and more isolated, Holly feels like she only has Jay to turn too. When they decide to meet face to face Holly begins to wonder if she’s made a mistake, and if Jay is all that he seems.
Miriam Halahmy has created a fast-paced and timely tale about how easy it is to fall victim to someone on the internet. The brilliantly depicted characters highlight the unnerving realty of how chatting to a stranger for a few minutes can change your whole life. The story is a tense one, with the tension ramping up the closer Holly gets to meeting Jay face to face. I thought Holly was a really fascinating protagonist, she’s aware of the dangers of the internet, but it doesn’t stop her from being unknowingly groomed.
Always Here For You does a fantastic job of raising awareness for something that occurs all too frequently. A well written contemporary story that is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. It’s a pretty quick read too, so definitely one to recommend if you’re looking for a story to get lost in for an afternoon.