Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Goose - Dawn O'Porter (Paper Aeroplanes #2)

Published: May 2014
Publisher: Hot Key
Pages: 228


It's a year and a half on from Paper Aeroplanes, and Renée is now living with her Aunty Jo. They even have geese, and Renée likes to sit and watch them, wondering if she'll ever find 'the One' - someone who will love her no matter what, and be there for her no matter how bad things get. She and Flo are in their final year at school, and they've got some tough choices to make - like will they go to university? And if so where - and will they go together? Renée's usual ambivalence on the matter shocks Flo, who had assumed they'd continue as they were, the best and closest of friends, forever. She feels as though she needs Renée's support more than ever, so when a handsome young boy enters Flo's life, she finds herself powerfully drawn to his kindness, and his faith. Renée and Flo's friendship will soon be tested in a way neither of them could have expected - and if Paper Aeroplanes was a book about finding friendship, Goose is the novel that explores whether it's possible to keep hold of it.


Goose is the sequel to Paper Aeroplanes , and we pick up again with Reneé and Flo’s story when the girls are seventeen/eighteen years old. This review will contain spoilers for Paper Aeroplanes, so don’t say I didn’t warn you!! Here’s a link to my review of Paper Aeroplanes if you want to check it out first.

In this book, the girls are finishing school and are wondering what to do next in their lives. I definitely identified more with Flo and Reneé in this book that the last as they are closer to my age and situation than in Paper Aeroplanes. As a first year in college , I have recently experienced the same freakout as the two girls, and even though I successfully managed to get into a pretty good college in a pretty good course, I still have no idea what I’m going to do with my life.

One of the most interesting aspects of the book was the contrast between Flo and Reneé’s experience of sex. It’s important to stress that neither of them is wrong or right, they’re just really different. Reneé has a kind of no holds barred attitude to sex, while Flo is a lot more cautious about it all. On the emotional side of relationships, O’Porter uses the metaphor of the goose to explore the idea of that one true love, that one person you’re supposed to spend the rest of your life with. While this idea is sweet and romantic and all, it’s something most teenaged girls ( and a lot of women ) worry about. For some reason finding someone to spend the rest our lives with is a big worry for most women , and that’s just not fair, damn you society. ( Yes, I will find feminism in everything, just smashing the patriarchy.) Speaking of feminism, one of worst parts in the book was when Dean tells Reneé that “Men fuck and women get fucked”. Now, you can tell that O’Porter doesn’t agree with this, and even Reneé doesn’t feel comfortable with this, but she still uses sex to keep Dean happy.

One of my favourite aspects of the book is Flo’s relationship with God. I’m not really a religious person, but I found the way O’Porter presents this relationship really genuine and not at all preachy. I think religion is too often glossed over in YA books, and while there are a lot of religious and spiritual teens, they are not always represented in an accurate way, ( in my experience they are usually used as cannon fodder for disenfranchised angsty atheists to make fun of.) That being said , my least favourite part of the book has got to be that absolutely random plot point ( I’m trying my best to avoid spoilers here) that happens about three quarters of the way through ( you’ll know it when you see it ). It felt really out of the blue, kind of unnecessary and a little bit like a cheap trick, but I am being harsh here.

With regards to relationships , the most interesting ones are probably Flo and her mother, and Reneé and her sister Nell. At the beginning, Flo and her mother are basically strangers living in the same house, and it was wonderful watching their relationship develop and grow. Reneé and her sister are also estranged after her sister moved to Spain to be with their father, and it was fascinating and heartbreaking watching Reneé come to turns with this.

This is a pretty awesome sequel to a pretty excellent book. O’Porter writes a pretty decent book and I wouldn’t hesitate in the slightest to read the third book in this trilogy ( hint hint Dawn, hint hint. ) I would recommend this to everyone. Teenagers and adults, and possibly even both men and women ( guys may not get it, but it may educate them with regards to the cause ) . Everyone should read this book, except maybe young children. It’s short , the writing is clear and the plot’s easy to follow so you have no excuse.

Four Stars ****

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