Friday, 12 August 2016

Time for Jas, Natasha Farrant

Pages: 278
Publisher: Faber
Release Date: 18th August 2016
Edition: UK paperback, review copy

Other Titles by this Author: The Things We Did For Love, After Iris, Flora in Love, All About Pumpkin, Lydia

It’s hard being the normal one in such a crazy family.

Bluebell and her siblings are beginning a new school year and everyone is freaking out! Twig has taken up violent team sports, Jas is being bullied and Blue has a big decision to make.

There are secrets and lies. Halloween parades and covert graffiti artists. Confusing friendships and life-changing choices.

But there is also laughter and above all, there is love and that’s what being a family is all about.

I love this series to the moon and back and I’m kinda devastated that Time for Jas is the final book about the chaotic, loveable Gadsbys.

The Gadsbys have returned from Devon and everyone is freaking out about something. In the wake of Flora’s dramatics about drama school, Twig’s determination to risk his life playing rugby and Jas struggling with some girls in her year, Blue is fading into the background again. She’s the ‘sensible’ one, the one that can be relied on to not cause any trouble. No one listens to her now that she’s hundreds of miles from Skye in Devon and she’s left battling with her siblings and against best friend Dodi. I loved how the friendship between Dodi and Blue was handled.

When I was a teenager, I had a friend like Dodi – one that wouldn’t let me speak, that would dictate my actions, crush down my ideas and always thought they knew what I wanted. I’m not as brave as Blue and didn’t stand up for myself, but I'm so, so glad she did. It’s a horrible situation to be in and I loved seeing her come out the other side and eventually do something that showed the colours she is on the inside.

Natasha Farrant handles tough subjects with the perfect touch and the trials of the Gadsbys and those around them is flawless. Mr Valetta, a minor character who seems like a villain, but is just as nuanced as the kids; strange, whimsical Pixie; and even the harassed Gadsby parents – there’s always so much more under the surface.

Blue, Flora, Jas and Twig go through a lot in Time for Jas ­– it is their last hurrah, after all! They face bullies, difficult choices, new friends, people they love leaving and people arriving that they grow to love too. Just like in All About Pumpkin, this Gadsby adventure was all about the changes, the loss and the gain of moving from out of childhood, and though it’s scary, it doesn’t all have to be bad. Especially is you’ve got an army of family and friends that love you right at your side.

I love this series so very much that I even got a little bit happy-teary at the end of Time for Jas. This book may be the end of these books, but Blue and the gang have a whole lot ahead of them. A gorgeous series about love and family in all its mess, chaos and mishaps that shouldn’t be missed.

Thanks to Faber for the review copy.

Sophie 

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