Wendy is lonely but coping.
All nineteen-year-old Wendy wants is to drive the 255 bus around Uddingston with her regulars on board, remember to buy milk when it runs out and just to be okay. After her mum died, there’s nobody to remind her to eat and what to do each day.
And Wendy is ready to step out of her comfort zone.
Each week she shows her social worker the progress she’s made, like the coasters she bought to spruce up the place, even if she forgets to make tea. And she even joins a writers’ group to share the stories she writes, like the one about a bullied boy who goes to Mars.
But everything changes when Wendy meets Ginger.
A teenager with flaming orange hair, Ginger’s so brave she’s wearing a coat that isn’t even waterproof. For the first time, Wendy has a real best friend. But as they begin the summer of their lives, Wendy wonders if things were simpler before. And that’s before she realizes just how much trouble Ginger is about to get them in…
My thoughts: I liked Wendy, she’s a simple soul a bit adrift in the world. She misses her mum, who took care of her, and likes seeing her regular passengers on the bus route she drives every day. She’s lonely, and doesn’t have the social skills to easily make new friends, so when she meets Ginger, and Diane, she latches onto them.
Ginger is fourteen, never in school, lives with her uncle and has not had a very nice life. She and Wendy find a friend in each other, but Wendy’s innocence means she doesn’t really understand Ginger’s world and that leads to trouble.
I felt for both girls, Wendy’s young for her age and naive, she gets easily obsessed with things – in this case Diane, a writer who lives nearby. She doesn’t understand the difference between being polite to a fan and friendship. Which is sad.
This was a bittersweet book and I know there are quite a few Wendys and Gingers out there who need someone to look out for them, to make sure they’re OK and safe.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.