Author: Catherine Barter
Publisher: Anderson Press
Disclaimer: I received a copy free from the publishers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Alena never knew her political activist mother, who died when she was a baby. She has been looked after by her older half-brother Danny and his boyfriend Nick. They’ve acted like parents to Alena. When someone starts leaving bombs around London, the atmosphere and area are precarious. It is in this fearful situation that Alena starts to learn about her activist mother which causes tension at home, especially when Danny starts working for a controversial politician, which also causes problems between him and his boyfriend.
I thought Troublemakers was an okay read. I’ve been meaning to read UKYA a bit more for a while now, and when I saw this on NetGalley I was intrigued. I did enjoy it, but it didn’t really have anything that actually WOW’d me. Troublemakers takes places in the East End of London, which I’ve heard is known for its poverty. Therefore, I feel like an opportunity was wasted to really discuss social issues and problems surrounding poverty and the working class of Britain. Poverty is really underrepresented in YA, especially UKYA and I do feel slightly let down that a book about Politics really doesn’t seem to actually discuss politics much at all, especially in terms of the working class and social awareness etc.
I did enjoy the discussions it had about the system of politics. How people are becoming disengaged, and about the morality and integrity surrounding politics and political campaigns, which was an enjoyable aspect.
I did enjoy Alena as a protagonist. She was bratty, and angry, and argumentative, but also a realistic 15-year-old. She had some really good development throughout the book, learning about her past and her mother. I loved the sibling relationship between Alena and Danny, but Danny himself did grate on my nerves sometimes with how protective and dishonest he was sometimes. But their relationship was developed and complex and had some really good moving moments. I also really loved Nick and his relationship with Alena. He was a really good parental figure and I loved how kind and compassionate he was. My favourite thing about Troublemakers was definitely the relationships and watching them evolve, especially when Danny and Nick realised that Alena is not a child anymore, but a teenager who is curious and stubborn.
Troublemakers is a coming-of-age book about families, love, and lies.
Megan (pronounced MEE-GAN bc her Irish grandfather refused to use the English pronunciation) is a 21 year old british blogger, history graduate, lover of books and expert procrastinator. She is anxious and introverted and is currently attempting adulthood. She loves potatoes which is often blamed on her irish heritage and can often eat her weight in food. She predominantly reads and reviews YA which includes historical fiction, science fiction, contemporary, and f/f romance. She loves reading about unlikeable female characters, positive female friendships & relationships, and is a sucker for a pretty cover.