Review: Stay Another Day by Juno Dawson.

Blurb

When three very different siblings, Fern, Rowan and Willow, go home for a Christmas reunion at their family home in Edinburgh, it’s not long before some VERY BIG SECRETS threaten their cosy holiday …

The McAllister house on Arboretum Road has seen 120 Christmases since its completion.

This year, FERN is bringing her gorgeous boyfriend home and she wants everything to be perfect.

But her twin brother ROWAN would rather go on the pull than pull crackers with the family.

And their younger sister WILLOW is terrified of Christmas Day.

With FOUR sleeps till Christmas,
THREE secretive siblings,
TWO hot houseguests,
And ONE juicy secret …
This Christmas, there will be some BIG surprises under the tree.

Sometimes at Christmas, you don’t get what you want, you get what you need…

Sweet and sour, funny and moving, and very, very Christmassy – the perfect book to curl up with this holiday. 

Review

I have to admit I am not one for ‘Christmassy’ books normally (well unless they are for young children), but being a massive Juno Dawson fan, I couldn’t pass the opportunity to read and review Stay Another Day. The title alone grabbed me, being of the generation (so old) when the East 17 song was released, it brings back warm fuzzy memories. 

Although starting off dubious about having Christmas themes within the book, I loved it. There is just something about Junos’s style of writing that makes me feel every book of hers was written for me, a perfect fit. The characters feel so real, the family unit and their interactions, their speech and use of ‘slang’, current phrases, cultural references and even swearing, are spot on (whereas in other books it can feel cringey or purposefully inserted for the sake of it). With Juno’s writing it just flows and fits seemlessly.

The plot takes a ‘traditional’ love triangle and does something different, for the characters to go into this situation with them all unaware was just so amazing. You are immediately on edge, wondering what on earth will happen and how it will all play out. There is so much going on within the McAllister (a nod to Home Alone?) family anyway with secrets and betrayals, mental health issues, teen pregnancy (potential), there is no chance of being bored, you are drawn instantly into their lives and dramas.

There are some great discussions around mental health, love, respect, support for one another, and what it means to be a family. 

I even enjoyed the Christmas elements, the family traditions and the narratives from the perspective of the home itself, it felt cozy and comforting.

If you love Juno’s previous writing, read this.

If you love YA books with lots of drama, read this.

If you love Christmas settings, read this.

If you don’t love Christmas settings, read this!

You won’t regret it!

Rating: 5*

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Thank you so much to Juno Dawson, Hachette Children’s Group and Netgalley for the e-arc to review.

Author Bio

Juno Dawson is a bestselling novelist, screenwriter, journalist, and a columnist for Attitude Magazine. Her writing has appeared in Glamour, The Pool, Dazed and the Guardian. She has appeared on Pointless Celebrities, BBC Women’s Hour, Front Row, ITV News, Channel 5 News, This Morning and Newsnight.

Juno’s books include the global bestsellers, THIS BOOK IS GAY and CLEAN. She won the 2020 YA Book Prize for MEAT MARKET. She also writes for television and has multiple shows in development both in the UK and US. An occasional actress and model, Juno had a cameo in the BBC’s I MAY DESTROY YOU (2020) and was the face of Jecca Cosmetics Play Pots campaign.

Juno grew up in West Yorkshire, writing imaginary episodes of Doctor Who. She later turned her talent to journalism, interviewing luminaries such as Steps and Atomic Kitten, before writing a weekly serial in a Brighton newspaper.

Juno lives in Brighton. She is a part of the queer cabaret collective known as CLUB SILENCIO. In 2014, Juno became a School Role Model for the charity STONEWALL.

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