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Destination Anywhere

"Flying free from past trauma through finding true friends and starting afresh"

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LoveReading4Kids Says

LoveReading4Kids Says

Exploring a 17-year-old’s life-affirming reclamation of her life from ruthless bullies, this raw, true-to-life novel confirms Sara Barnard’s talent as a writer of immense heart.

After years of horrific bullying, Peyton’s life was supposed to have been better at college. It was supposed to herald a fresh start away from school bullies. And - for a while, at least - life did seem to get better. Peyton found a friendship group for the first time in her life, but it’s not easy staying true to yourself when you fear you’ll lose those hard-found friends. Then a whopping wake-up call comes when her so-called buddies turn out to be anything but that. So, she takes flight to Canada, with only her beloved sketchbook for company.

The novel’s smart structure slips from Peyton’s present-day Vancouver adventure back to earlier episodes that caused her to flee her old life - the ostracisation, the humiliations, the escalating bullying, her slippage into a reckless social life - and then a mortifying let-down that provides Peyton with a pivotal ‘enough is enough’ prompt.

The author brilliantly (i.e. painfully) captures the agonies of friendlessness and the excruciating awkwardness of tentative attempts to make mates - so many scenes will have readers squirming in their seats. Then there’s the poignant portrayal of how needlessly cruel people can be, heart-cheeringly countered by Peyton’s newfound camaraderie in Canada. All of which makes for a thought-provoking, empathy-inducing experience. It’ll make you cry too - in a good way.

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