Will Davis (1 star)

My Side of the Story (Bloomsbury)


The horror, uncertainty and exasperation of being a teenager are supposed to be character-building. And so the horror of coming out, the uncertainty of running away to Brighton on a binge of pills and powder, and the exasperation at realising his first shag is a web designer should set young protagonist Jarold in good stead for life.

Davis’ coming-of-age debut cares little about character, however, or indeed plot and style. Donning the persona of a yoof is a poor excuse for bad writing, and resorting to a text message language devoid of vowels and an irritating habit of abbreviating swearwords is duff on the ear. Amid the selfish ramblings of a hyperactive teenager, the book’s surface engagement with depression is worryingly casual.


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