BLOG TOUR: Sofa Surfer

Sofa Surfer: a gorgeous story with helping people at its heart

img_1687(this was me devouring the proof on the bus, obv)

“15-year-old Tyler’s teenage angst turns to outright rebellion when his family leave London for a new life in Yorkshire. He’s angry with his parents about the upheaval and furious at losing his home. With only the dog to confide in, Tyler has no idea that a chance meeting with a skinny girl called Spider will lead him into a world he never even knew existed. Spider is sofa surfing and Tyler finds himself spinning a tangled web of lies in his efforts to help her escape her world of fear and insecurity.”

Now, it is well documented that I was a MASSIVE fan of Malcolm’s first book ‘Me. Mam. Me Dad. Me’ (if you’ve not read it please go and do that because it is bloody magnificent) which came out last year, so when I was asked if I wanted to be part of the blog tour for his second book, I jumped at the chance. I knew that if his first book was anything to go off, this book was going to be a proper hit… and let me tell you, it did not disappoint at all! 

Sofa Surfer tells the story of lovely Tyler, a young lad whose life has been turned upside down by a move away from London to Yorkshire. He hates it. He’s angry with his mam and dad cause they’ve pulled him away from everything he loves: his friends, his hobbies, his school. Now he’s somewhere new with no-one and nothing to do apart from walk his adorable dog. Through the story, Tyler grows to like the place he lives in. He finds friends in unexpected places and learns that lies, even when they’re there to try and help, are not a great thing. 

I loved reading this book. The characters in particular have a proper big place in my heart. Besides the fact that one of them is a Geordie (yes, we all know I STAN a Geordie character, it makes me feel at home in a book), they’re so brilliant written, they’re fully formed and they’re flawed.

If we start with Tyler, here you have a young man who is so gorgeously kind hearted, naive at times and so keen to help. He starts the book understandably angry and a little bit distant, but as you go through the book you learn more about him and see that he is someone who just wants to help. He makes mistakes; he says things that he shouldn’t; he chooses to do things that are questionable, but ultimately he’s human. We’ve all done it. We’ve all made mistakes in life that we have to learn from. He tries his very hardest to fix the things he’s done wrong. 

Tyler of course is only trying to help Spider. Lovely, lovely Spider. Spider, who we initially meet who seems quite cool and put together, whose story we learn as we go through the story. A character who teaches us about some of the realities of being homeless. A character who teaches us about the importance of listening. A character who is trying her best to do the best for herself. A character who wants so much but asks for so little. She gets woven into this story in such a gorgeous way. I fell for her straight away (being Geordie aside) because she oozes a kind of confidence. As you go through you see that a lot of it is a facade (as a lot of confidence can be!) and she’s just trying to put on a face. 

I think this story is one that has the potential to open a lot of conversations. It’s one I think a lot of people are going to love. It’s a story about friendship and standing up for what you think is right. It’s a story about two teenagers who have very different lives, who are brought together for a reason. It’s one of those books that sticks with you. I just adored it. 

My Goodreads review: 

I loved this an awful lot! An incredibly duet of characters: one who wants to help, albeit not in the the best ways, and one who didn’t ask for help. I love reading Geordie characters so Spider being a Geordie made me so happy. You see the realities of being a youngster who is homeless in this and I really felt for Spider. I’d love to hug her. Another brilliant story from Malcolm Duffy: I look forward to whatever else he writes!

A massive thank you to the publishers for inviting me to be part of this blog tour. I can’t wait to see what everyone thinks of this book and I can’t wait to see what Malcolm writes next – if it involves more Geordies, I’m already going to be won over! 

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour!

SOFA SURFER BANNER

S x 

BOOK BLOG: Malcolm Duffy

Me Mam. Me Dad. Me: touching, hard-hitting and brilliant

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“Danny’s mam has a new boyfriend. Initially, all is good – Callum seems nice enough, and Danny can’t deny he’s got a cool set up; big house, fast car, massive TV, and Mam seems to really like him. But cracks begin to show, and they’re not the sort that can be easily repaired. As Danny witnesses Mam suffer and Callum spiral out of control he goes in search of his dad. The Dad he’s never met.”

I was sent Me Mam. Me Dad. Me by the lovely publishers Head of Zeus and guys, IT’S A GEORDIE BOOK. IT’S WRITTEN BY A GEORDIE, WITH A GEORDIE MAIN CHARACTER, SET IN GEORDIE LAND. As an exceptionally proud Geordie, this made my heart so happy. It was so refreshing to read something that was in my dialect. It’s nice, every now and again, for a book to “get” youto see yourself in the book. While I’m not Danny, I’m a Geordie, I say the words he says, I speak the way he does, I know the places he goes… it was SO LOVELY to see MY WORLD in a book. 

Me Mam. Me Dad. Me tells you the story of Danny, a young man who has grown up just him and his mam (I loved seeing the word mam throughout this book, that’s what I call my mam, not mum or mom… mam). As the book goes on his mam falls for Callum, who seems like a nice enough fella to start with, but who’s not a nice man at all. He’s abusive, manipulative and down right horrid. His mam brushes it off, but it bothers Danny a lot. Eventually, Danny decides that finding his dad and getting his dad’s help is the only solution to the Callum problem… which ends pretty disastrous. 

It’s so nice to read a Geordie character who is actually likeable. I’ve only read one other – Juno Dawson’s short story in I’ll Be Home For Christmas! (Here, I’m going to keep saying this, so get used to it). Danny is one of those just good kids. He wants to look after his mam. He just wants her to be happy and safe, and who would blame him? I’d be doing the exact same thing. He’s so normal: he goes to school, has a girlfriend, has mates. He’s so brave. He’s naive and foolish too. His plan isnt foil proof if we’re honest. Going to find the dad you’ve never met? Good shout Danny. But I really liked him. I really felt for him. 

Then you’ve got Callum. That deplorable man. I just have no time for him. He’s condescending, abusive, mean, manipulative. Watching his character change over time was fascinating however. He starts as this generous, happy fella and in the end, he’s not that at all. His separate relationships with Danny and Danny’s mam are interesting – shouldn’t he treat her with the respect someone deserves who you love? Well, you’d think. 

I really liked the family element to this book. You see Danny’s mam’s family, Danny’s dad’s new life and Callum’s family. All 3 very different. All bringing different vibes to the book. 

This books deals with dark topics I can’t deny that. There are scenes which are really hard to read. There’s moments where my heart hurt for Danny. I say this but there’s also a lightness about it. Finding yourself, finding your family, standing up for what’s right, teenage naivety. I would absolutely recommend this book to everyone and anyone. 

I hope this just inspires more Geordie books, because I endorse this massively. 

My goodreads review:
A Geordie voice? A tough topic? A book which will make your gut wrench but also make you laugh at times? 
I’ll keep going on about this BUT ITS SO NICE TO READ SOMETHING IN MY DIALECT. Man, we need more Geordie MCs. This was just so refreshing.

So yes, if you can, please go out and buy this/request it from your library. It’s so brilliant, it’s hard-hitting and it’s authentic. We need more voices like Danny’s (and not just the Geordie voices!). 

Have you read Me Mam. Me Dad. Me?
Would you like to see more books in different dialects?

Let me know in the comments! 

S x