Book Review: 'Not My Problem' By Ciara Smyth.


You know I absolutely ADORED Ciara's first book 'The Falling in Love Montage' and so I was incredibly excited to get a hold of 'Not My Problem.' Let me tell you, Ciara has quickly become one of my favourite authors. 

 

Blurb


When Aideen agrees to help ambitious class swot Maebh Kowalska deal with her crazy workload, she doesn’t expect to end up reluctantly pushing Maebh down the stairs. With this, Aideen becomes the school ‘fixer’: any problem a student has, Aideen will sort it out, from stealing confiscated mobiles to breaking into parties. All she asks for is a favour in return. But Aideen’s own life is a mess – her mam’s drinking again, her BFF Holly is avoiding her and she’s skipping school. Spending more time with the uptight (but annoyingly cute) Maebh and chatterbox Kavi, Aideen starts to wonder: can every problem be solved?


My Review


Aideen captured my whole entire heart. I adored her so much. Her humour had me giggling out loud and even though, as a teaching assistant, some of her antics had me tutting, I couldn't help smirking at the banter she had with Ms Devlin and her come backs at many a teacher's comment. She was feisty and the kind of quick witted that I could only ever dream of being. And honestly, she simply wasn't one for school and I could totally relate to her with that. Oh the amount of times that Maths made me want to cry. It was hard not to fall in love with her and her sarcastic, cheeky attitude. 


However, there was so much of that feisty attitude that came about because she was protecting herself. It was like Aideen always had to be switched on with her guard up in order to look after her Mum and keep social services at bay. It was hard for her to let people in and lent itself to her always wanting to help people and make sure other people were ok. She focused on their problems and wanted to fix them so she didn't have to think about her own. This was such a sensitive topic and I thought Ciara did a beautiful job of guiding Aideen and providing her with a supportive cast of characters that stuck by her when she pushed them away and made her see that there were people there for her who cared about her and wanted to help. Sometimes the hardest thing in the world is asking for help, but this was such a positive book in showing what can happen when you do and highlighting that asking for help is not weak, it is strength. 


All the characters in this book turned to each other for help and I thought that was a really awesome and wonderful thing. I couldn't put the book down as once Aideen helped one person in return for a favour, I wanted to see the antics that unravelled and how it would somehow require the favour to be turned in during the next scheme until everyone was involved and the solutions to the problems became a little more out there and adventurous, hello Daniel Something. This book is definitely a page turner and will keep you on your toes. 


Also, can we please talk about Kavi?! But at the same time I don't even know where to start. I absolutely LOVED him. Aideen's commentary on him was one of my favourite things ever. I loved how he popped up out of nowhere and would startle her, I loved his stories and his rambles and I loved the friendship the two of them formed. I loved that he cared without judgement and I ultimately loved how even though Aideen would make comments about him and his ways, she accepted him and loved him for him. 


The same can be said for Maebh. Ciara has an incredible way of making her characters so real and relatable that I am in awe. I adored that Maebh believed her way was the right way and that she didn't pander to a crowd to make herself liked. Again, Aideen's narrative throughout was simply brilliant as I loved that she told it like it was, especially at the end during the debate. Where Holly, knew how to charm the crowd, pause for laughs and get the people on her side, Maebh was stubborn, straight to the point and could come across as slightly judgy towards people for not seeing her perspective, but Aideen doesn't shy away from those facts about Maebh. She doesn't want to start changing her, instead she learns about why she is the way she is and wants to understand it. I don't want to give too much away but the party, the bath tub, the texts, the being there for each other. Swoon. Their friendship and budding relationship made my heart ridiculously happy. 


I read this book in two days and missed it the minute I closed it at the end. I very much wanted to be a part of Aideen's group. Each character was their own little firecracker, their personalities were fierce and strong and unique yet they all found each other and belonged in some way. 


I just loved it so so much. Aideen is definitely a character that stays with you long after you finish the book. I highly recommend you pick up a copy of 'Not Your Problem' today!!! 


Happy reading! 
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