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Taste the Bright Lights

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Northern Ireland, 1999 Lisa O’Neill is fourteen. She lives in a hole of a place on a council estate, with a family she wouldn't have picked in a million years. She and her best friend Nicola dodge the army and police while necking cider and Buckfast; trying to avoid being called SLUTS; and above all letting anyone know their true feelings. But Lisa has a secret. Her ma hates Northern Ireland, 1999 Lisa O’Neill is fourteen. She lives in a hole of a place on a council estate, with a family she wouldn't have picked in a million years. She and her best friend Nicola dodge the army and police while necking cider and Buckfast; trying to avoid being called SLUTS; and above all letting anyone know their true feelings. But Lisa has a secret. Her ma hates her and her stepda beats her up. Lisa is lonely, defensive, unhappy... and would rather die than have anyone know it. Lisa knows her life will only start when she can get away from home. So when the cops are on the trail of Lisa and Nicola after blood and a broken nose at school, Lisa knows what to do. She has the two of them out of town before the blood’s dried on the classroom floor. And that’s when her life really starts to fall apart... How do you survive when you’re so lost you can’t even find yourself? >For parents, teenagers and anyone who’s ever been fourteen.


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Northern Ireland, 1999 Lisa O’Neill is fourteen. She lives in a hole of a place on a council estate, with a family she wouldn't have picked in a million years. She and her best friend Nicola dodge the army and police while necking cider and Buckfast; trying to avoid being called SLUTS; and above all letting anyone know their true feelings. But Lisa has a secret. Her ma hates Northern Ireland, 1999 Lisa O’Neill is fourteen. She lives in a hole of a place on a council estate, with a family she wouldn't have picked in a million years. She and her best friend Nicola dodge the army and police while necking cider and Buckfast; trying to avoid being called SLUTS; and above all letting anyone know their true feelings. But Lisa has a secret. Her ma hates her and her stepda beats her up. Lisa is lonely, defensive, unhappy... and would rather die than have anyone know it. Lisa knows her life will only start when she can get away from home. So when the cops are on the trail of Lisa and Nicola after blood and a broken nose at school, Lisa knows what to do. She has the two of them out of town before the blood’s dried on the classroom floor. And that’s when her life really starts to fall apart... How do you survive when you’re so lost you can’t even find yourself? >For parents, teenagers and anyone who’s ever been fourteen.

30 review for Taste the Bright Lights

  1. 4 out of 5

    Steve Martinson

    Parents!!: READ THIS BOOK! This is an important book for parents to read before their kids get to the late pre-teen ages. Sometimes the content is very hard to read, but you really need to. Rough and gritty, how this 14 year old girl thinks, and tries to make a new life for herself, will make you cry. When you're reading, you're thinking, "No 14 year old could think that this is the way to make her life better". But you're wrong. Some do think this way. When your step-father doesn't slap you aro Parents!!: READ THIS BOOK! This is an important book for parents to read before their kids get to the late pre-teen ages. Sometimes the content is very hard to read, but you really need to. Rough and gritty, how this 14 year old girl thinks, and tries to make a new life for herself, will make you cry. When you're reading, you're thinking, "No 14 year old could think that this is the way to make her life better". But you're wrong. Some do think this way. When your step-father doesn't slap you around, but beats you with his fists, you're bound to think just about anything would be better. This book screams for you to read it and have long talks with your kids. Read this in one sitting. While it is very dark, there is still hope here. Read it Learn from it. Teach your children from it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

    I doubt I'd've picked this up had I seen it first - it's an odd size and I avoid bright white paper where possible, but having ordered it on the basis of a review by a friend I have to say it is a terrifying look at the world of a fourteen-year-old who's not had the care due to a child of that age, at least, that considered 'due' in the age we are are at now. What comes over so strongly - in addition to the voice, which never misses a beat - is that for all we think we're grown up at that age, w I doubt I'd've picked this up had I seen it first - it's an odd size and I avoid bright white paper where possible, but having ordered it on the basis of a review by a friend I have to say it is a terrifying look at the world of a fourteen-year-old who's not had the care due to a child of that age, at least, that considered 'due' in the age we are are at now. What comes over so strongly - in addition to the voice, which never misses a beat - is that for all we think we're grown up at that age, what we don't know, and the decisions we make lacking that knowledge, have such disproportionately large consequences. Part of me thinks it should be read by every fourteen year old, but I also recognise that, for those whose life is straighter and narrower, it is possible to conceive this way of life as having some glamour. Perhaps better as a refresher for parents of fourteen years olds.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tom Vause

    I won this book via Goodreads First Reads. I really enjoyed this book. I thought the characters were good and it was a real page turner. I liked the setting and I thought it was realistic. I would recommend it to people. I very interesting if not slightly depressing read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Conor Mcvarnock

    Read it in 24 hours. Much recommended, particularly for anyone working at the front lines with young adults in the care system. It rings extremely true from the first beat all the way through. Its good in ways that are particular to Northern Ireland, the way the author captures the language and idiom of mid-Ulster and Belfast are bang on. I'd also reckon it could appeal a lot further afield as ultimately it is a very lucid if dour account of a young girls life, the young girl in question doing a Read it in 24 hours. Much recommended, particularly for anyone working at the front lines with young adults in the care system. It rings extremely true from the first beat all the way through. Its good in ways that are particular to Northern Ireland, the way the author captures the language and idiom of mid-Ulster and Belfast are bang on. I'd also reckon it could appeal a lot further afield as ultimately it is a very lucid if dour account of a young girls life, the young girl in question doing a lot of things that we might all have experienced in one form or another and feeling the way that many of us feel if not quite with the same consequences. For all that its not hard going, the chapters are short and buzz by quickly and you get a lot of detail.

  5. 4 out of 5

    marcella magliocco

  6. 4 out of 5

    rachel maddocks

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mrs T J Fowler

  8. 4 out of 5

    Susannah Stone

  9. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Groome

  10. 5 out of 5

    Roy Huff

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ms

  12. 4 out of 5

    R4vi

  13. 5 out of 5

    dawn murphy

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sanusha Govender

  15. 5 out of 5

    Donna Tone

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Cutler

  17. 5 out of 5

    Liz Filleul

  18. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Leonard

  19. 4 out of 5

    aine warren

  20. 5 out of 5

    A Sanderson

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ben Williams

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lee Sipler

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

  24. 5 out of 5

    tracey

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mia Redgrave

  27. 5 out of 5

    Denise Guiney

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alan Richards

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lynne Stewart

  30. 4 out of 5

    Garry Smith

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