Love Punked is an emotional drama with light-hearted moments. It is set mainly in the 1990s and features the lives of teenager Erin Roberts and her friends.
The book opens with a prologue from 2003; Erin is on a flight to New Zealand to meet Daniel, the boy she’s had a crush on since the age of seven. But Erin’s life path to reach this point has not been simple. The story then turns the clock back to 1995 when Erin learns that her crush, Daniel McNamara, is leaving for New Zealand. Amidst a humiliating scene, Erin wrongly believes Daniel actually likes her, only to hear herself described as ‘rank, ugly ginger Roberts’.
Erin’s determination to prove this description as inaccurate brings out her wild side. However, by the age of fifteen she’s pregnant. Friends and family rally round, supporting Erin, but it’s hard, especially when many of her school peers are abusive about her situation. When Erin gives birth, her story as a teenage mum and the dramas surrounding it are complex. Her determination to be the best mum she can causes a love triangle; should she work towards a stable family environment, or follow her heart?
Written in a style designed to entertain the reader, this book also deals with the harsher realities which some teenagers face. If you were a teenager in the 90s this story may well hit some nostalgia buttons, making you laugh, cringe or nod with understanding. I did find that once the story got underway I was keen to follow Erin’s journey. One niggle: there is room to tidy the book with another run through from a good proofreader, but overall this is a good debut novel.
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When her life is irrevocably altered by a post-Rave tryst on her mother’s floral patio recliner, Erin Roberts’ long-standing relationship with Humiliation takes her down a path that’s not so much ‘less well trodden’, more ‘perilous descent down sheer cliffs’.
Armed with a fierce devotion to her best friend and the unrequited love for the boy she might have accidentally married at age seven, when Erin falls pregnant at sixteen, life veers off at a most unexpected tangent.
Her journey to adulthood is far from ordinary as Erin learns that protecting the hearts of those most precious to you isn’t balm enough when your Love Punked heart is as sore as your freshly tattooed arse.
Whilst raising football prodigies and trying not to get stuck in lifts with Social Work clients who hate her, Erin discovers that sometimes you have to circumnavigate the globe to find the very thing that was there all along.