The Breakfast Club meets One Day in Floored, a unique collaborative novel by seven bestselling and award-winning YA authors: Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson and Eleanor Wood.
At the heart of this novel, you’ll find the story of friendship and in all its varying forms – friendship between complete opposites, friendships between people who understand what the other is going through and also friendships that have faded over the years. However, in this case, it’s the friendship between a group of six people, tied together by a seventh. The story follows the same format as The Breakfast Club in which a bunch of misfits are put in a situation where they are stuck with each other, and in this case, go through a traumatic event together. After said event, they become tied together in a way they didn’t expect and for the next few years, they meet on the anniversary. In between, we see how their lives develop as they go through the age of questions and struggles and also how their lives become intertwined.
I’m not usually a fan of collaborative novels because I find the pace to be disjointed. With this novel, I did struggle at first as the story does switch between the six characters periodically and occasionally a chapter is written in third person detailing them all. As with most dual POV novels, there are some characters you enjoy more than others. In this case, I thoroughly enjoyed Velvet, a girl who is judged way before she opens her mouth and also Kaitlyn, who is gradually losing her sight over the course of the novel. I did not enjoy the POV of Hugo, who is known as ‘the asshole’ of the group. I understand this label but his first chapter is full of misogyny, slut-shaming, jokes about eating disorders and identity and his main goal in life is to trick women into sleeping with him and making bets with his mate. This didn’t sit well with me. Even though Hugo, along with the other characters, develops throughout the book, these things and comments are still glossed over quite a bit just for the sake of him being an asshole.
On a plus side, we do genuinely go on a journey with these characters as we follow them over the course of around four years. We see their family issues, issues with identity and sexuality and a whole lot of fallouts. In terms of teenage-hood, I think it was very realistic and a lot of readers could identify with their struggles (such as money worries, worries about Uni and future plans and illness within a family which was very hard hitting.) I think it flowed well considering there were so many authors working on it and a lot happened within the 300+ pages. This isn’t necessarily a book with a massive plot, but more about these teenagers and their lives together and their lives separate.
Thank you to Macmillan & Waterstones Swansea for providing me with this book!