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Something Certain, Maybe by Sara Barnard - Review

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Every time I pick up one of Sara's books I end up really fired up about Young Adult literature and want to write all the books! I have been told that my writing is like Sara's which is a huge compliment. This is the third book in a trilogy about Caddy, Rosie, and Suze - each book has a different one of them as a protagonist and this time it's Rosie's turn. In the first one, Caddy's book, the girls are doing their GCSEs. I haven't read the second one, but I picked up a bit about what had happened in that book due to what Rosie says in this one. However, I've ordered the second one to the library because I would like to read it.

I bought this book in The Bookish Type in Leeds in February; I had a voucher from a friend and there was a sale on too so I ended up buying eight books altogether I think! I am trying to make my way through them before the end of the year. Or before I go to the next sale!

Okay, so in this book Rosie is leaving Brighton to go to university in Norwich. She is going to study pharmacy and she is determined that it is going to be great. Suze is staying behind in Brighton, working full time. Caddy is starting at Warwick university just a week later than Rosie. So Rosie is dropped off by her mum and left in her flat. There's at least seven of them in there - drama students Rika and Dawn, Freddie, and three boys named Jack. Rosie tries really hard to go out with them in Freshers week and have fun, but discovers it's not really her thing. Everyone gets very drunk and Rika is kind of a bitch. Then Rosie is thrust into her course. Unlike some people's, it's very full on, with lots of labs and stuff, so she's often out of the flat and everyone takes to calling her The Enigma as they don't really know her. One person that Rosie meets on her course drops out a couple of weeks later, and other friends Rosie makes aren't living the typical student life. Rosie starts to feel overwhelmed and incredibly unhappy - but she's made A Plan and she is sticking to it regardless of anything else!

She meets Jade, who is a third year pharmacy student, and the two start a relationship. It's very sweetly told, although Jade does at first come across a bit one dimensionally. She tries to get Rosie to fall in love with Norwich, but it doesn't work. Rosie is determined to just keep going. She feelsl ike she can't tell Caddy and Suze because Caddy is having the time of her life in Warwick and she doesn't want to upset Suze. When the girls do get together it is often messy, which I actually really liked because real life is messy and teenaged girls are messy! It read brilliantly to me. 

The book encompasses a lot, and a lot of time, and one of my only criticisms is that sometimes I felt like things were skipped over, but I understand it because there was a lot to fit in. I related a lot to the book because I hated my first semester at university - I didn't like the whole Freshers thing either and I hated nightclubs (still do!) and I really struggled to make friends. I am going to lend this to my friend Ros because she had a similar experience as me, and it is terrible because you feel so alone and overwhelmed. I got into my rhythm in the second semester, although I do still think I could have made more of my uni experience. I loved how real Rosie's story was!

I also feel like the ending was so well done - I won't spoilt it but it's perfect for the book and shows that life doesn't always turn out like you think it will. I'm giving the book four out of five. 

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