Review: A Small Madness by Dianne Touchell

A Small MadnessSynopsis from Goodreads
Rose didn’t tell anyone about it. She wondered if it showed. She looked at herself in the mirror and turned this way and then that way. She stood as close to the mirror as she could, leaning over the bathroom basin, looking into her own eyes until they disappeared behind the fog of her breath. Looking for something. Some evidence that she was different now. Something had shifted inside her, a gear being ratcheted over a clunky cog, gaining torque, starting her up. But it didn’t show. How could all of these feelings not show? She was a woman now but it didn’t show and she couldn’t tell anyone.

I don’t think I will ever be able to say I enjoyed reading one of Dianne Touchell’s books. In fact, I can safely say that her books make me uncomfortable, make me feel anxious and challenge most things I think would make a great YA book. But that won’t stop me placing her books into everyone’s hands.

As Creepy & Maud did, this book seems to have slipped under people’s radar, which is terribly frustrating. Without sounding like one of those people (you know the ones), I will always rather delve a bit deeper into the young adult scene and dig out the books that have the stories that I want to read. About the issues that are different. About the characters that are different.

I just think it’s great to know that there are authors out there who are ignoring the typical young adult tropes and writing engaging yet challenging books for teenagers. And me. When I was a teenager, it did me good to read books that confronted me, that made me think a bit outside my comfortable box I was reading in, and I think if there are any teens who are reading this who feel like that too… let me know and I’ll give you a list of all the books you could read. Starting with Touchell’s books.

You may have realised I’ve avoided talking about the story completely in this review. There’s a small method in my madness. As with most books that are difficult to read, it’s hard to write a review that avoids those dastardly spoilers but also, I have a feeling that if you were to know the subject matter about this book…a few of you might be put off.

Which would be a shame.

This book is dark and it’s twisted and it’s really, really difficult to stomach at some times. But hey? Who says that’s a bad thing? Touchell writes with such confidence about teens and it’s gloriously unapologetic. It’s about how cruel girls can be to each other, how cruel girls can be to themselves, how cruel first relationships can be and it’s a brutal look into pressures of being a teenager. And it does not have a happy ending.

It’s a short book, sometimes reading like a short story. You have a million questions at the end but you’re OK with them not being answered. To be honest, you’ve kind of been put through the ringer so much by the end, you can’t even function enough to ask them.

Oh, I’ve missed YA books.

Dianne Touchell will always be my go-to author for this kind of YA and I can’t wait for her and her stories to get the attention she deserves.

ps. I ALMOST got the chance to meet Dianne Touchell (who is EXCELLENT by the way and have you read my interview with her?) at her book launch in the coolest bookshop in Freo but, can you believe it? I had already continued on in my roadtrip. One day…

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One thought on “Review: A Small Madness by Dianne Touchell

  1. Such great timing in me reading your review Jo! I just borrowed this from the library, with a vague idea that it’s going to be a confronting book. But we need books like that, always, to keep looking a new and challenging viewpoints. Great review lovely!

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