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Mini reviews: Bully for You by Dawn Porter and Magpie Soup by Dave Cousins

So on World Book Day there was an app released for many devices which featured a few YA authors short stories. I downloaded the app and when I couldn’t sleep a few nights again thought I’d try a couple of the stories, here are my thoughts. 

Magpie Soup by Dave Cousins:

It’s Mum’s funeral today. Dad’s completely lost the plot and just tried to go out without his trousers on. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Mum didn’t want a house full of sad people trying not to cry. Which is why I made some alternative arrangements of my own. . .

This story was about a girl who has just lost her mother, her lovely eccentric mother, who begged Mina to have an blow out party for her funeral instead of a sad, boring one. When Mina had suggested that to her father though he wasn’t impressed, but she went ahead and arranged it anyway. The story focuses on the morning of the funeral and the moment when her dad finds out what she has done. 

I really loved what this said about taking care of those we love, being there for them and doing what we think is right. Her father wasn’t himself and he had lost himself in his grief which was hard for Mina. I really enjoyed the way the story was told and how you aren;t sure what Mina has planned until right at the end of the story. 

It really was sweet and I loved reading it. Mina’s attitude and her coping with her mothers loss is admirable and I love Dave Cousins‘ work so much that I knew I couldn’t miss this one.   

Bully For You by Dawn O’Porter 
Fifteen year old Sally is an accomplished bully. She can’t remember a time when power didn’t matter to her. But behind the spite, and the jibes, Sally is a mess. She has secrets that she can’t tell, and which mean that every day she hates herself, just a little bit more. But what if Sally made a choice to reveal who she really is? Would she fall apart…or could she start putting her life together in a new way. Can a girl like Sally change the habits of a lifetime?

This was a strange one. The story starts with a bully in the workplace, it’s Sally’s office manager and Sally feels sorry for her, she knows why Gloria is bullying the new office temp because she was once a bully herself. It then skips back nine years to when Sally was in school, tormenting classmates and bullying Flo into being her best friend. 

It was an interesting insight to the mind of bullies, how they feel they are worthless and that’s why they bully people. I think it gave the impression that if someone who was being bullied was reading the story they could learn how to fight back, how to stand up for themselves. Also if a bully was reading it they would perhaps step back and reevaluate their lives.

I really liked how it flashed back then forward again and whilst the story didn’t grip me as much as Magpie Soup did, I thought the last page really made it stand out. I was excited about Dawn O’Porter’s new book, Paper Aeroplanes, which is due in May before and I liked that the this gave me a taster for the authors writing style.