Today I am taking part in the blog tour for this brilliant YA book 10 Things To Do Before You Leave School by Bernard O’Keeffe. Many thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.
When I read the blurb for this book it really jumped at me, the book is based around Ruby who has had a really bad year leading up to her final year in school. She lost her father unexpectedly and this book is about the aftermath and her trying to find her feet again in the world.
We meet Ruby as she is returning to school after being off for a long period of time, around the same time as she returns to school she finds a letter addressed to her from her father. The letter contains a list that helps her navigate her final year in school and helps her to feel close to her father again.
I found this a raw read as it captures the essence of loss alongside the grief and depression that accompanies the loss of a loved one. This book helps you relate to the every day pressures our children are experiencing to fit nicely into society. It then adds the insight of how grief changes their feelings and perceptions about everything they have ever known.
I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to my teenager daughter, it highlights the thoughts and feelings surrounding the black cat and helps raise awareness to encourage our children to discuss mental health openly and hopefully feel that they aren’t alone with their feelings.
Massive praise to Bernard O’Keeffe for the delivery of this book and I will definitely be looking out for future releases.
Ruby has had a difficult year to say the least. Just before she started Sixth Form, her father died from a heart attack. In the difficult months that followed Ruby became so depressed that she attempted suicide. She missed a lot of school, but now she’s about to go back and she’s worried. Is she well enough to get through her final year? Will the depression return? Should she apply to university? The night before term begins, Ruby finds something that makes the prospect even more daunting: an envelope addressed to her in her father’s handwriting. Inside is a list: ‘Ten Things I Hope You Do Before You Leave School’. It makes no sense. She can’t understand why he’d want her to do these things, let alone whether she’ll be able to do them.As Ruby navigates her way through UCAS, parties, boyfriends and A-Levels, she decides to give the list her best shot, but her efforts lead her into strange situations and to surprising discoveries. Will Ruby survive her last year at school? Can she do the ten things on The List? Will doing them make any difference?
Available to purchase on Amazon
About the Author
After graduating from Oxford, Bernard O’Keeffe worked in advertising before training as a teacher. He taught for many years, first in a North London comprehensive, then at Radley College, where he was Head of English, and most recently at St Paul’s School in London, where he was Head of Sixth Form.
He has reviewed fiction for Literary Review and The Oxford Times and, as an editor of The English Review, has written over a hundred articles for A Level students on subjects ranging from Nick Hornby and Roddy Doyle to Jane Austen and Shakespeare. In 2013 he published his first novel, ‘No Regrets’.
Twitter : @BernardOKeeffe1