Troublemakers
In three years I will be able to vote and I will still have less power than I did at the moment that I saw that email, which was such a tiny thing but look what happened.Fifteen-year-old Alena never really knew her political activist mother, who died when she was a baby. She has grown up with her older half-brother Danny and his boyfriend Nick in the east end of London. Now the area is threatened by a bomber who has been leaving explosive devices in supermarkets. It is only a matter of time before a bomb goes off. Against this increasingly fearful backdrop, Alena seeks to discover more about her past, while Danny takes a job working for a controversial politician. As her family life implodes, and the threat to Londoners mounts, Alena starts getting into trouble. Then she does something truly rebellious.A searing, heartbreaking coming-of-age tale for fans of Lisa Williamson, Jenny Downham and Sarah Crossan.

Troublemakers Details

TitleTroublemakers
Author
FormatPaperback
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 1st, 2017
PublisherAndersen Press
ISBN1783445246
ISBN-139781783445240
Number of pages384 pages
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Glbt, Fiction, Politics, Family

Troublemakers Review

  • Kirsty (overflowing library)
    March 14, 2017
    Like nothing else I've read YA. I really enjoyed it and stayed up too late to finish it. I had high hopes for this book after hearing about it at Andersen's blogger event and I am so pleased to say it lived up to all expectations.What I liked about this book is that it is really different from all the other contemporary YA I've read. It is set in London and the focus of the story is looking at politics and morality around said politics. It's such a poignant story considering our current politica Like nothing else I've read YA. I really enjoyed it and stayed up too late to finish it. I had high hopes for this book after hearing about it at Andersen's blogger event and I am so pleased to say it lived up to all expectations.What I liked about this book is that it is really different from all the other contemporary YA I've read. It is set in London and the focus of the story is looking at politics and morality around said politics. It's such a poignant story considering our current political climate in a post brexit world where things feel like they are moving more to the extremes than ever before as people are losing hope in what seems to be an increasingly more broken system. I also really enjoyed the mystery elements to the story as Alena digs into the background of her mother who died when she was young and was involved in a lot of anti-government protests in the 80s but is rarely spoken about at home by her brother who raised her from when she was small. I loved finding out more about this absent character as the story unfolded.I also loved the insight the story gave the reader into what it means to be a family especially a less traditional one like Alena's. I thought it was particularly clever when it mused over the thoughts Alena has about her mother who died when she was so young and how that made Alena feel because she feels like she ought to actively miss her mother on one hand but finds it hard on the other hand to miss something she didn't really have.A stunning and exciting addition to the UKYA market. I'm looking forward to more from Catherine in the future.
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  • Aimee
    June 3, 2017
    I really enjoyed this character-driven story, it was refreshing and very different to other contemporary YA books I've read recently. The story was compelling and revealed bit by bit which makes you want to keep reading.Alena is a compelling character and very relatable. I love the way she knew when she was being unreasonable or over-reacting but she just found herself saying things she didn't mean - that felt very real to me. The dialogue was very well-written, especially between Alena and her I really enjoyed this character-driven story, it was refreshing and very different to other contemporary YA books I've read recently. The story was compelling and revealed bit by bit which makes you want to keep reading.Alena is a compelling character and very relatable. I love the way she knew when she was being unreasonable or over-reacting but she just found herself saying things she didn't mean - that felt very real to me. The dialogue was very well-written, especially between Alena and her friends Ollie and Teagan, who talked and acted like real teenagers. Minor spoiler about Ollie:(view spoiler)[I kept expecting some romance between Ollie and Alena, perhaps with a love triangle element in the form of Teagan, but this never materialised and I was glad because the book focuses on so much else that a romance storyline would have made it too cluttered. (hide spoiler)]It's a very well-written coming-of-age/identity story, and one I'd recommend to all fans of contemporary YA books.I was given a free ARC of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
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  • Sarah Webb
    April 12, 2017
    What a brilliant book. I read this in one sitting and it grabbed me from the first page. The voice, the setting, the plot - clever, clever, clever. Highly recommended.
  • Nicola
    June 4, 2017
    About halfway through this and it's lovely: well-rounded down-to-earth characters, lots of emotion, and themes typically untrodden by YA fiction.Tick-tick to teenage protag Alena getting interested in politics.Tick-tick-tick to Alena having shambolic-but-so-in-love gay dads.Totally my jam.
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  • Steph
    May 27, 2017
    Fantastic. Absolutely loved it. Totally apt for today's world. A loving, conflicted sibling relationship. A beautiful relationship. A complicated, yet simple political message. Character centric and I adored it.
  • Carmen Haselup
    May 31, 2017
    Troublemakers by Catherine Barter (Andersen Press) is a political coming of age story about memory and the stories that ground us and bind us to our past and our families. It's beautifully written and had a place in my heart within the first few pages. 'In three years I will be able to vote and I will still have less power than I did at the moment that I saw that email, which was such a tiny thing but look what happened. Fifteen-year-old Alena never really knew her political activist mother, who Troublemakers by Catherine Barter (Andersen Press) is a political coming of age story about memory and the stories that ground us and bind us to our past and our families. It's beautifully written and had a place in my heart within the first few pages. 'In three years I will be able to vote and I will still have less power than I did at the moment that I saw that email, which was such a tiny thing but look what happened. Fifteen-year-old Alena never really knew her political activist mother, who died when she was a baby. She has grown up with her older half-brother Danny and his boyfriend Nick in the east end of London. Now the area is threatened by a bomber who has been leaving explosive devices in supermarkets. It is only a matter of time before a bomb goes off. Against this increasingly fearful backdrop, Alena seeks to discover more about her past, while Danny takes a job working for a controversial politician. As her family life implodes, and the threat to Londoners mounts, Alena starts getting into trouble. Then she does something truly rebellious.'Alena is a fantastic character walking that thin line between adolescence and adulthood and trying to find her balance. Barter has aced her thoughts and her uncertainties and her anger, doing a wonderful job of portraying Alena's struggle with her own self-awareness. She knows she is behaving like a brat but she embraces it and allows herself to be angry and to sulk and to argue her point. She is a fierce young woman and an awesome role model, flaws and all.Troublemakers works as an introduction to political thinking for teens. Its storyline about integrity in political campaigning is something I don't recall ever coming across in a book before and something I wish I'd have read as a teen. I loved the beautifully casual inclusion within Troublemakers, but also that it doesn't shy away from talking honestly about homophobia and the fear of otherness and the way this fear is directly linked to the politics of our time. It doesn't preach but it does shine a light and suggests that there is another way, a better way to be. It is a hugely hopeful and inspiring book, encouraging our young people to expect better. To demand better.I was reading this book on my phone when the news app notifications told me of the Manchester bomb attack. It was the perfect book to help me through all the emotions I'm sure we all felt on that night and the days that followed. Perfect because reading this book was a little like having someone holding my hand and saying it's all going to be ok. Saying, 'yes, this world is messy and screwed up and life is hard and confusing but ultimately, the best thing we can do to combat that is to be the best version of ourselves and stand up in the face of it all and try and make the world a better place'. It is very much a book that celebrates individuality and the braveness of being yourself. It is warm and hopeful and truthful and just might change the world.Source - e-copy kindly sent for review by Penguin Random House.
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  • Shannan Knights
    June 16, 2017
    I fell in love with Nick and Danny almost instantly, they are the protagonists - Alena's - acting guardians who are desperate to try and get things right. And although we do witness countless arguments between Nick and Danny when things get tough for the pair, we can see that they are so in love with one-another. And I just rooted for their relationship throughout the entire novel.Alena, on the other hand was a character I didn't connect with right away. And sometimes so of the things she said o I fell in love with Nick and Danny almost instantly, they are the protagonists - Alena's - acting guardians who are desperate to try and get things right. And although we do witness countless arguments between Nick and Danny when things get tough for the pair, we can see that they are so in love with one-another. And I just rooted for their relationship throughout the entire novel.Alena, on the other hand was a character I didn't connect with right away. And sometimes so of the things she said or done made me cringe a little. But Alena was aware of the times she was being unreasonable, or over stepped the mark a little and to me, that made Alena real and it really allowed me to connect with her as we progressed throughout the novel.Additionally, I loved the way in which Alena, Tegan and Ollie communicated, and conversed. It was how real teenagers would communicate and it never felt forced, or as if the author - Catherine Barter - was unaware of teenagers today.What I loved most about this story was, that despite the side story following the attacks carried out by the East End Bomber - a terrorist planting bombs in supermarkets around Alena's home town - there was no big plot twist ending, no death of a relative, nothing tragic of the sort, but instead we are with Alena when she learns the truth about the earliest years of her life and her time with her mother. I definitely feel that this could of been a little bit of an anticlimax but for me, personally I loved this. It was so well written, and it was something I really wanted without my realising what I wanted. I sometimes feel that big plot twist endings can be forced, and rushed into - that there is no build up but with this ending I realised that we have been slowly learning about Alena, and that we want nothing more than for her to learn the truth.With everything that is going on in the world the novel was released at a time where certain aspects of this story are all to real, but I did still enjoy it. At first I really wasn't so sure, and thought that it would be a little too much given the current state of the world however, I think it was well written which helped erase my fears.★★★★✰I would rate Troublemakers 4 out 5, as although the novel was a little slow at the start, I began to really love the novel as it progressed.
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  • LH Johnson
    May 4, 2017
    It's taken me a while to figure out how to write this review. I loved Troublemakers but I didn't know how to write about it. It's a curious thing, sort of not quite what I expected it to be and somehow more than that. It's a big book. It's thick and edible and layered with a thousand different notes, and all of them hook into you and don't let you go. I loved it. I don't know how to write about it, so maybe I'll try and give you something different than my normal reviews.But let's begin with the It's taken me a while to figure out how to write this review. I loved Troublemakers but I didn't know how to write about it. It's a curious thing, sort of not quite what I expected it to be and somehow more than that. It's a big book. It's thick and edible and layered with a thousand different notes, and all of them hook into you and don't let you go. I loved it. I don't know how to write about it, so maybe I'll try and give you something different than my normal reviews.But let's begin with the blurb. Alena lives with her half-brother, Danny, and his boyfriend, in the east end of London. She has never known her mother who died when she was a baby. Danny and Nick are her family. Danny, though, has taken a job with a local politician who's aiming to be London Mayor; somebody is terrorising the local area by leaving bombs in supermarkets, and Alena's suddenly desperate to know more about her past. Her family. This is a coming of age story, and it's a yell into the world, that moment when you walk to the edge of the beach, dip your toes in the sea and yell out into the blue beyond that you are here that you matter that you exist. Troublemakers is an affirmation; a defiance, but it's also somehow more than that. It's like Sunday Lunch with the people you love, those lunches where you know everything almost a moment before it happens because you know these people. It's about family, forgiveness, foolishness, love. The shape of people. The mistakes of people. The love. The cup of tea, the feet up on the sofa, the recognition of what makes you you. It's a little bit Jenny Downham, a little bit Annabel Pitcher, but it's very much itself. It's feelings, and fear and friendships. Coffee. Hope. Hate. Joy.. I still don't know how to write about this book, but oh I know how to write about what it made me feel. My thanks to Andersen for a review copy.
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  • Rebecca
    May 28, 2017
    This wasn't at all what I was expecting. Which isn't a bad thing, but it was a surprise! Troublemakers is essentially a book about people, families, lies and fear of the unknown (and maybe a little bit of fear of what you do know). There is a bomber in Alena's hometown planting explosives in supermarkets. There's also some generally rubbish people creating hate crimes and vandalism as you go through. But most of all there is Alena's family dynamic, which is full of secrets, and Alena wants some This wasn't at all what I was expecting. Which isn't a bad thing, but it was a surprise! Troublemakers is essentially a book about people, families, lies and fear of the unknown (and maybe a little bit of fear of what you do know). There is a bomber in Alena's hometown planting explosives in supermarkets. There's also some generally rubbish people creating hate crimes and vandalism as you go through. But most of all there is Alena's family dynamic, which is full of secrets, and Alena wants some answers. Her mother died when she was three, and Alena can't remember anything about her so she desperately tries to get information from her brother, and guardian, Danny and his boyfriend Nick. Usually to no avail; Danny is a closed book about it all.The story builds and builds as Alena begins to unravel the truth about her family. I was expecting the story to have a massive climax, particularly given the bomber running around. But actually, although we got the answers to Alena's past, it was really quite straightforward. No massive ending, no action-packed bomb of someone Alena knows, which is kind of what I thought might happen. And so whilst this at first felt a little bit of an anti-climax, actually I think there's something really clever about this story. I didn't know what I was going to find out, it didn't go the way I imagined, but it did open my eyes to some of the harsher realities of politics. This is an interesting book, largely about people, and so it isn't the most gripping. But it is an honest and frank depiction of what the average person probably sees throughout their routine lives. I like that it isn't hugely eventful and this it is brave enough to just be ordinary. It's also the first book I've read from this genre which dares to consider political influences and the impact these have on everyday people. A thought-provoking book; definitely worth a read.ARC provided free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Elli-mai Freeman
    July 1, 2017
    5 StarsWhat a great book! Although I think its best going into this barely knowing anything and just letting yourself be sucked in and carried away by this amazing story, this book follows 15 year old Alena Kennedy who’s been raised by her older brother Danny and his boyfriend Nick since her mother died when she was just 3 years old.This is a well written, coming of age story following Alena as she begins to figure things out in her life, like her political beliefs, the numerous questions she h 5 StarsWhat a great book! Although I think its best going into this barely knowing anything and just letting yourself be sucked in and carried away by this amazing story, this book follows 15 year old Alena Kennedy who’s been raised by her older brother Danny and his boyfriend Nick since her mother died when she was just 3 years old.This is a well written, coming of age story following Alena as she begins to figure things out in her life, like her political beliefs, the numerous questions she has about her political activist mother who she has no memories of, and the fact that there’s a bomber going around leaving bombs at supermarkets around London.I had such a great time reading this, it was really well written, simple and easy to follow and yet very entertaining, not boring in the slightest, Alena was a great narrator, she had such a personality to her and I loved reading from her point of view.This was funny, entertaining and really made me think. I’m around the same age as Alena, I’m also paying closer attention to what’s going on in the world trying to figure out where I stand on things and what I think. With the added aspect of a bomber in this book and what’s going on in our cruel and crazy world really connected with me too.I loved the representation in this book too, Catherine Barter wrote a very realistic couple with Nick and Danny, she treat them just like any other couple who fought, made cheesy jokes but there was still the added aspect of people asking questions about who Alena’s parents where and people did still whisper behind her back which was also realistic because that does still happen.I really would recommend this book, I’m contemplating buying my own physical copy because I loved it so much, I also enjoyed reading a book set in the UK with the use of words like Mum, the tube, Mobile phone, etc.
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  • Hannah
    May 23, 2017
    Check out my review on my blog https://hannahreads132.wordpress.com“Fifteen-year-old Alena never really knew her political activist mother, who died when she way a baby. She has grown-up with her older half-brother Danny and his boyfriend Nick in the east end of London. Now the area is threatened by a bomber who has been leaving explosive devices in supermarkets. It’s only a matter of time before a bomb goes off.”Why did I pick this book up? The cover really drew me in. I do love yellow.Thoughts Check out my review on my blog https://hannahreads132.wordpress.com“Fifteen-year-old Alena never really knew her political activist mother, who died when she way a baby. She has grown-up with her older half-brother Danny and his boyfriend Nick in the east end of London. Now the area is threatened by a bomber who has been leaving explosive devices in supermarkets. It’s only a matter of time before a bomb goes off.”Why did I pick this book up? The cover really drew me in. I do love yellow.Thoughts:I bloody loved it. This book was fantastic. It was entertaining, it was heartfelt, it was clever. I did think this book was going to be something else when I picked it up and read the description but I was so pleased with the overall narrative. I loved all of the main characters, Taegan, Alena, Ollie, Danny, Nick. They all were such complex characters with diverse backstories and different perspectives on the world. While I didn’t always agree with the choices Alena was making, I understood her motivations as they were always clearly laid out in the text. What was fantastic about this book was that the motivations of the other characters were also apparent, something I found very impressive in a first person narrative. Again, you didn’t have to agree with every single choice every single character made, but you could appreciate and understand how those particular people had come to that decision. I was thoroughly entertained by this book. I thought about it a lot when I wasn’t reading it and hurried home from work one night to finish it. I just wanted to read it all in one go and savour it at the same time. I didn’t feel like there was a low point of the book and it just flew by. It was wonderfully written and dealt with a lot of complex ideas. How could I use it in my teaching?I will definitely be recommending it to my older students. Did it have good representation?It did. I liked that Danny and Nick were gay, but it was a fact about them, not a huge part of their personalities. They were so much more than just gay and that was awesome. I loved this book so much. Thank you NetGalley, Penguin Random House and Catherine Barber for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for a positive review.
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  • Megan (YABookers)
    June 6, 2017
    I received this free from the publishers via NetGalleyAlena never knew her political activist mother, who died when she was a baby. She has been looked after by her older half-brother Danny and his boyfriend Nick. They've acted like parents to Alena. When someone starts leaving bombs around London, the atmosphere and area are precarious. It is in this fearful situation that Alena starts to learn about her activist mother which causes tension at home, especially when Danny starts working for a co I received this free from the publishers via NetGalleyAlena never knew her political activist mother, who died when she was a baby. She has been looked after by her older half-brother Danny and his boyfriend Nick. They've acted like parents to Alena. When someone starts leaving bombs around London, the atmosphere and area are precarious. It is in this fearful situation that Alena starts to learn about her activist mother which causes tension at home, especially when Danny starts working for a controversial politician, which also causes problems between him and his boyfriend. I thought Troublemakers was an okay read. I've been meaning to read UKYA a bit more for a while now, and when I saw this on NetGalley I was intrigued. I did enjoy it, but it didn't really have anything that actually WOW'd me. Troublemakers takes places in the East End of London, which I've heard is known for its poverty. Therefore, I feel like an opportunity was wasted to really discuss social issues and problems surrounding poverty and the working class of Britain. Poverty is really underrepresented in YA, especially UKYA and I do feel slightly let down that a book about Politics really doesn't seem to actually discuss politics much at all, especially in terms of the working class and social awareness etc. I did enjoy the discussions it had about the system of politics. How people are becoming disengaged, and about the morality and integrity surrounding politics and political campaigns, which was an enjoyable aspect. I did enjoy Alena as a protagonist. She was bratty, and angry, and argumentative, but also a realistic 15-year-old. She had some really good development throughout the book, learning about her past and her mother. I loved the sibling relationship between Alena and Danny, but Danny himself did grate on my nerves sometimes with how protective and dishonest he was sometimes. But their relationship was developed and complex and had some really good moving moments. I also really loved Nick and his relationship with Alena. He was a really good parental figure and I loved how kind and compassionate he was. My favourite thing about Troublemakers was definitely the relationships and watching them evolve, especially when Danny and Nick realised that Alena is not a child anymore, but a teenager who is curious and stubborn. Troublemakers is a coming-of-age book about families, love, and lies.
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  • DLS
    June 18, 2017
    I genuinely don't know what to write about this book that wouldn't spoil it. It's a book about an unconventional family and not much really happens; it's driven by characters I didn't particularly like but I wanted to find out what happened. Alena lives with her brother and his boyfriend since her mother died when she was 3. For reasons unknown at age 15, she wants to find out more about her mother since she remembers nothing. This causes a rift in the family all whilst in the background there's I genuinely don't know what to write about this book that wouldn't spoil it. It's a book about an unconventional family and not much really happens; it's driven by characters I didn't particularly like but I wanted to find out what happened. Alena lives with her brother and his boyfriend since her mother died when she was 3. For reasons unknown at age 15, she wants to find out more about her mother since she remembers nothing. This causes a rift in the family all whilst in the background there's an ongoing terrorist threat to London that's mentioned many times but has no real impact on the family.
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  • Angela L
    June 3, 2017
    I received my copy from a Goodreads giveaway and was immediately drawn in by the cover. Alena has lived with her older brother Danny and his boyfriend Nick, since their mother died when she was very young. It's clear there's a hidden secret relating to her death and Alena starts to get curious about her mum's past friends/family and associates. Meanwhile Danny seems to have lost his career path until he finds a job with the local mayoral candidate. Nick meanwhile rails at the world whilst runnin I received my copy from a Goodreads giveaway and was immediately drawn in by the cover. Alena has lived with her older brother Danny and his boyfriend Nick, since their mother died when she was very young. It's clear there's a hidden secret relating to her death and Alena starts to get curious about her mum's past friends/family and associates. Meanwhile Danny seems to have lost his career path until he finds a job with the local mayoral candidate. Nick meanwhile rails at the world whilst running a café. This book is all about friendship, fear, secrets, political sleaze and the love between family. So many different layers and a really enjoyable read.
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  • Becky
    June 5, 2017
    In three years I will be able to vote and I will still have less power than I did at the moment that I saw that email, which was such a tiny thing but look what happened. An absolutely wonderful read. Alena's story is very powerful and the story brings to life her story wonderfully. One of the best things about reading this as an adult is that you can see Danny and Nick's thoughts and decisions and how that can filter through to a 15 year old girl.Very different for a YA novel and would highly r In three years I will be able to vote and I will still have less power than I did at the moment that I saw that email, which was such a tiny thing but look what happened. An absolutely wonderful read. Alena's story is very powerful and the story brings to life her story wonderfully. One of the best things about reading this as an adult is that you can see Danny and Nick's thoughts and decisions and how that can filter through to a 15 year old girl.Very different for a YA novel and would highly recommend
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  • Nigethan
    June 21, 2017
    Subtle, nuanced and quietly absorbing , with a stunning portrayal of family and political awakening. Was warmly surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this one!Full review at The Bookbag :)
  • Naomi
    May 27, 2017
    GOODREADS GIVEAWAY WIN.Political awakenings, unconventional families, and the most nuanced, relatable, realistic depictions thereof I've read a while, shining with wit and honesty; a book I wish I could have read 15 years ago.
  • Alan
    May 30, 2017
    I was pleased to have won 'Troublemakers' in a recent Goodreads First Reads giveaway.Very enjoyable! I don't usually read YA books, but glad I read this one, which I do recommend. I shall be passing it on to my 17 yr old granddaughter, who I know would love it.
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  • Nova
    June 1, 2017
    This book is amazing. I cried. All of the characters felt so real! This is quality writing!
  • Alix Long
    May 20, 2017
    I absolutely loved this book. It is definitely unlike any YA I have read before - Troublemakers has such a unique storyline and a distinctive, relatable voice. I loved the character of Alena and I thought she was so well written and a very realistic teenager character. She is intelligent and thoughtful and determined; YA should have more female characters like Alena. This is not only an incredibly interesting but also a very different and diverse book. I have never read a book with a sister/brot I absolutely loved this book. It is definitely unlike any YA I have read before - Troublemakers has such a unique storyline and a distinctive, relatable voice. I loved the character of Alena and I thought she was so well written and a very realistic teenager character. She is intelligent and thoughtful and determined; YA should have more female characters like Alena. This is not only an incredibly interesting but also a very different and diverse book. I have never read a book with a sister/brother sort of parent relationship, and although this is shocking, I don't think I've read a book featuring a gay couple as some of the principle characters. All of the characters were so well-rounded, interesting, but also intensely realistic. They're the kind of characters who you could imagine living just down your road.The writing style and the dialogue were probably my favourite parts of the book. Barter writes in such a fresh, contemporary, uncomplicated way. The dialogue really helped me imagine the characters and feel more connected to them.Troublemakers is a distinctly modern book that tackles many of the social and political issues that concern us today. I love it how a YA book isn't afraid to tackle and explore these issues from a teenager's perspective. Also the feminist history was something I really enjoyed reading about, and it will definitely inspire readers who have not come across the Greenham Common women to go off and research and find out more about them.Overall I loved this book, I enjoyed the mysterious element of Alena trying to find out about her family, I loved the characters and the fact that the book was so interesting and diverse, and the writing was effortless and invigorating. For a debut novel this is an absolute star, and I can't wait to read more from Catherine Barter.
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  • Rachel
    May 14, 2017
    Alena has never known her mum. When her brother starts working for a controversial politician and she starts to uncover her mum's activist life, she gets into the kind of trouble that changes everything.Troublemakers is a book that took me by surprise, and I loved it. It made me think about my political beliefs without being a book about politics, and is likely to reach a lot of young people. The relationships between the characters are complex but wholesome, and you can tell that at the heart o Alena has never known her mum. When her brother starts working for a controversial politician and she starts to uncover her mum's activist life, she gets into the kind of trouble that changes everything.Troublemakers is a book that took me by surprise, and I loved it. It made me think about my political beliefs without being a book about politics, and is likely to reach a lot of young people. The relationships between the characters are complex but wholesome, and you can tell that at the heart of it all they really love each other. A magnificent read. *** I was sent a copy of Troublemakers by Andersen Press in exchange for an honest review. ***
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  • Ajita
    August 22, 2016
    Alena has lived with her brother Danny and his boyfriend Nick since she was three years old. She can’t remember her deceased mother and Danny never talks about her. One day she finds a photo and she finds out her mother was an activist. In London, a bomber creates a lot of unrest by placing bombs in supermarkets. Like many people, Danny lives in fear. He decides to work for a politician who promises change and a better future. This puts their little family on its head.The book discusses two topi Alena has lived with her brother Danny and his boyfriend Nick since she was three years old. She can’t remember her deceased mother and Danny never talks about her. One day she finds a photo and she finds out her mother was an activist. In London, a bomber creates a lot of unrest by placing bombs in supermarkets. Like many people, Danny lives in fear. He decides to work for a politician who promises change and a better future. This puts their little family on its head.The book discusses two topics: how a politician creates fear in order to gain power and how healthy a grieving process is. Danny has never properly mourned his mother and that creates a lot of unrest in their home because it affects Alena’s life, especially in the situation they’re now in because of the bomber. I liked the dynamic between Danny and Alena; why he is against the activist life and she’s so fascinated by it.I found this such a strange, wonderful and fascinating book. A lot happens but because the tone is so quiet, you don’t feel like you’re reading a page turner, while I still read the book in two big chunks. What I deeply appreciated about this contemporary story was that it was not romanticized in any way.
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