Skye is looking for an escape from the reality of last summer when her sister died in a tragic accident. Her parents think that a camp for troubled teenagers might help her process her grief. All of the kids at the summer camp have lost someone close, but is bringing them together such a good idea? And can everyone at camp be trusted? When Skye starts receiving text messages from someone pretending to be her dead sister, she knows it’s time to confront the past. But what if the danger is right in front of her?
Five Worst Memories from your Teen Years
Guest Post by Sue Wallman
The thought of writing this blogpost worried me. A lot. When I told a friend about it she said, “I’ve buried my worst memories.”
I haven’t. I can access mine pretty easily which might be why I’m drawn to writing for young adults. But to splatter my worst teenage humiliations and painful moments over the internet probably wouldn’t be my smartest move.
Growing up I had parents who loved me and thought I was great, but I was an awkward teenager and real life definitely didn’t seem to be happening in my neck of the woods. These aren’t my worst teenage memories but they’re five snapshots from my past:
- My granny had dementia. Before she became really bad and disinhibited, I overheard her crying with my mum, saying she knew she was losing her mind. I’d never heard an adult cry with such despair before.
- I completely froze during a recitation of a poem at a school concert in front of a hall full of parents and students. My head emptied of everything except thudding panic and a growing awareness that everyone in that room felt embarrassed for me. After what seemed like a horrifically long time, I looked down and saw the words. In my panic I’d forgotten they were there on the lectern.
- Even though I had friends, my comprehensive school didn’t always feel like a safe place. Nobody ever used the toilets unless they absolutely had to because it was full of mean girls smoking. I mean, clearly there were no smoke alarms in those days but how hard would it have been for the teachers to check the toilets once in a while?
- I was teased for being posh. I hated that we lived in a house with a name not a number. I was embarrassed that my mum baked home-made biscuits with muesli as an ingredient when everyone else ate Wagon Wheels.
- I had a brace in my late teens when nobody else I knew had a brace.
Sue Wallman is a journalist who lives in London with her husband and three teenage daughters.
In 2013 she won the Bailey’s Women’s Prize first chapter award judged by Rachel Joyce and Kate Mosse. LYING ABOUT LAST SUMMER is her first novel.