Publication: May 16th 2019 by Cranachan Pages: 300 Purchase: Amazon | Waterstones | Book Depository FOURTH YEAR. TWO PALS. ONE MURDER. WELCOME TO BATTLEFIELD HIGH… ‘Whoever said yer school days are the best days ae yer life was at the absolute wind up. I hink maist adults dinnae mind whit it was really like. Wait til yeese hear whit Sonny and me got detention for…’ Daughter and Sonny are two best friends just trying to get through fourth year at high school. But when their favourite teacher leaves unexpectedly, and no one will say why, the boys decide to start their own investigation. As they dig deeper into the staff at Battlefield High, they discover a dark secret which one person will kill to protect… Will they uncover the truth without being expelled? Can their friendship survive when personal secrets are revealed? And will they manage to skive off double English?
‘Och, dinnae be ridiculous,’ Mum answers. ‘It’s half seven. Folk arenae bein sectarian at this time ae the mornin.’
I’m a little ashamed to admit that I’ve never managed to read a full book written in Scots. I’ve tried, several times, but I’ve always found them really difficult to get into. So I was suitably surprised when I sat down to read Ross Sayers’ Scottish Young Adult novel, Sonny and Me, and found myself halfway through (and past my bedtime for work the next day) before I knew it.
Sonny and Me was a kind of wholesome that I haven’t encountered in a Young Adult novel since I was a teenager myself. It made me laugh out loud on several occasions, and warmed my heart on others. The friendship between the two main characters, Sonny and Daughter, was so authentic and, oftentimes, disarmingly touching. It was really refreshing to read about two male characters who were not afraid to be open about their emotions with one another.
The friendship between Sonny and Daughter wasn’t the only strong relationship in this novel, however. I loved reading about the families in Sonny and Me. I found them to be really believable and loved how much familiarity I found in Daughter’s home life. (I didn’t know beef olives were a staple Scottish dinner outside of the McLaren household??) The close community feeling was also something very relatable for me, and I got a lot of laughs from the way the mothers spoke about the other characters in the novel.
Sonny and Me was a nostalgic and entertaining read, with a lot more heart than it originally lets on. It was packed full of a cast of interesting and inclusive characters, fast-paced and hilarious dialogue, and a whole lot of feeling. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this novel and I’ll know better than to be put off by Scots texts in the future. I would highly recommend giving this book a go. You won’t regret it.
Be nice to women, respect women, because they’re people. A lot of men never learned this. Men of my generation, and the generations before. It’s up to you to start changing it, I’m afraid.