This is an eARC I received from NetGalley. All opinions are my own. Check out my review policy for more info.
Set in 1980s Newfoundland, The Agony of Bun O’Keefe is the story of a 14-year-old girl who runs away to the city and is taken in by a street musician who lives with an eclectic cast of characters: a pot smoking dishwasher with culinary dreams; a drag queen with a tragic past; a Catholic school girl desperately trying to reinvent herself; and a man who Bun is told to avoid at all cost.
This is probably one of my new favourite books.
I read it in 3 hours flat (no joke!)
I loved *The Agony of Bun O’Keefe* so much. I don’t know where to start so I’ll just start from the beginning.
I expected to see useless details about Bun and her mother’s relationship. But it got straight to the point and opened with Bun leaving the house. So we can concentrate on the story and get to know her as if we’ve just met her.
Then Busker Boy is introduced. I instantly saw a romance brewing – I was wrong.
Busker Boy is essentially the brother she never had. And it’s refreshing to see a YA book that has a filial relationship between a male and female MC – who aren’t related!
Busker Boy takes her in to stay with his roommates. None of these characters are glossed over (and it would be disappointing if they were). Heather Smith spent time writing about each character so we got to know them. All of them were unique and flawed people with problems.
I forgot the book was set in the 80s until the New Year’s party because it dealt with so many issues that are still relevant today. LGBT, racism, and rape to name a few.
And the ending was amazing – again. This book doesn’t have your stereotypical fairy tale ending where she goes back to her Mum and all is fine. But it does have a happy one. And it proves that the relationships you’re born with will never be as strong as the ones you make by choice.