So I’m going to use a reviewing style I’ve been pleased with in the past, Ten Reasons To Read, to spotlight a few favourite books. This is an old one, but was published on the now-defunct YA Contemporary site I ran, and it seemed a shame NOT to have it accessible for people – especially as Undeniable is still one of my go-to rereads for enjoyment! (I’ve updated a couple of things in it, as well.)
TEN reasons to read Undeniable by Liz Bankes
1. Narrator Gabi is one of my favourite main characters for ages, with a strong voice and wonderful sense of humour. She’s also really well-rounded – she can be thoughtless and careless but she’s also loyal, clever and enthusiastic.
2. Tying into that one, I keep seeing things about unlikeable characters (in YA in general, not in this book) and they’re one of the things I really dislike in YA novels, personally. Here, though, everyone has moments when they’re unlikeable but others when they are easy to warm to.
3. The two boys in Gabi’s life, new love interest Spencer and old boyfriend Max (mainly seen via flashback scenes) both have lots of good points and bad points as well.
4. It’s interesting to read about a main character older than the majority of YA leads. Gabi is 17 and working as a runner on her favourite TV show, which is a hugely different setting from most that I’ve read.
5. While I’ve seen references to this as New Adult, and that probably fits in with Gabi’s age, for those who worry that NA is “YA with sexytimes added in” there’s nothing massively steamier than many other YA novels here. I’d be happy to recommend to teens of all ages.
6. The friendship between Gabi, Mia, Nish and Rosie is really strong and feels brilliantly drawn.
7. Even though Gabi appeared in Liz Bankes’s debut, Irresistible, as did many of the other characters here, you don’t need to read that before this one – this works perfectly well on its own merits.
8. As we get through the book, we find out more about Gabi’s past, which gives the book so much more depth than I was expecting. The pacing for the reveals here is really great.
9. Gabi’s granny is one of the most awesome older characters in YA recently. (Along with Mrs Frensham from Boys Don’t Knit.)
10. It is one of the most rereadable books of recent years; I’ve read it three or four times and it’s great every time!
EIGHT lines that made me love Gabi
“Oh my God, he’s kissing someone! The dick! Cheating on my best friend! I’ll kill him. I will literally strangle – Oh no, wait, that IS Mia. I’d forgotten she’d dyed her hair back to brown again.”
“I really hope no one from the production company saw that. I don’t want to get a reputation as someone who attacks people with my mouth.”
“I was obsessed with her and followed her everywhere. I’ve always quite liked grumpy people.”
“I may have smelt Johnny Green! If I have, he smells of coffee. It could have been someone else’s cup. Do you want me to send you a pic?”
“At some point it finally occurred to me that I was almost under a train, which might not be the best place to stand.”
“Although she also said, ‘But they make an announcement about that, don’t they?’ like I’d fallen off the train because I didn’t listen to the warning telling me not to.”
“I’m having a sad moment. I look like this. :(“
“I need to play this cool.
Cooler than that.”
SIX other female narrators in YA contemporary novels with wonderful voices.
1. Faith – Have A Little Faith/Keep The Faith, Candy Harper.
2. Sasha – You Don’t Know Me, Sophia Bennett.
3. Grace – One, Sarah Crossan..
4. Ashley – We Are All Made Of Molecules, Susin Nielsen (dual narrative with Stewart, who’s also brilliant.)
5. Sophie – Far From You, Tess Sharpe.
6. Kaz/Ruby – Remix, Non Pratt (I know this technically takes us up to seven, but how could I pick one of these AMAZING dual narrators?)
FOUR more fab reviews
“Honestly, reading this is like watching a 90’s teen film with your friends. Fun!” – Wondrous Reads
“[Gabi] is brilliantly funny in pretty much everything she says as the girl as no filter and just says whatever crazy thing she has going on in her brain.” – Overflowing Library
“And while Gabi doesn’t quite appreciate her circle of friends throughout, I still felt like they’d have been there for Gabi no matter what. – Fluttering Butterflies
“I adored Gabi; she is a extrovert who is determined to enjoy herself despite going through some tough times, and her observations about work, relationships, London and life are truly funny.” – Chicklish
TWO other authors who do brilliant ‘companion books’
(There are loads I like, but sticking to two for the 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 countdown…)
1. Katie McGarry, who kicked off with Pushing The Limits, featuring Noah and Echo’s romance, moved onto Noah’s friend Beth’s story in Dare You To, and then focused on Noah and Beth’s friend Isaiah’s relationship with Rachel in her best novel yet, Crash Into You. I can’t wait for Take Me On, looking at Rachel’s brother West!
2. Simon Packham, who sets all of his books in (or at least partly in) St Thomas’ Community College. Each looks at different characters but the sharp-eyed reader will notice a few crop up in minor roles in other books!