Recommended age: 11+

Minus Me

by Ingelin Rossland

Linda is 13. It's a time to discover boys and to think about life ahead. But in a diving competition at the local swimming baths, Linda's heart stops beating. She is revived by a mysterious boy, but the doctors discover she has a life-threatening heart condition.

While Linda's parents want to keep close care of their daughter, she decides she wants to live life to the full, and she's written a list - a first kiss, a pop concert, travelling without parents.

Her 'bucket list' is quite tame and not very extensive, but I suppose quite real in that things aren't straightforward or twee.

As soon as I started reading, I was gripped. I believed in the characters and the situation and intrigued in Zac - there were enough clues to establish that there was something rather special about him, but the ending was a surprise and didn't disappoint.

There were some elements to Linda's story that didn't ring quite true, for me. There were quite a few leaps in emotions and she seemed older than 13 to me. Her reactions were a bit extreme on occasion and her treatment of friends and family also seemed a little out of character. I also thought the cover belied the content of the book - more mermaid than coming of age! But the story was compelling.

Apparently Scandinavian YA writing is hard core; there are no taboos, so I was uncertain whether, with that being the case, this would be a book I would enjoy. However, this award-winning author has obviously bucked the trend with this book, and I thought it was great.




Review date: November 2015
Minus Me by Ingelin Rossland