The second of Denise Deegan’s popular Butterfly novels, this story reacquaints us with the same group of privileged teens we met in the first instalment but shifts the focus from Alex to Sarah. This time, the recession has hit the South County Dublin masses, at least as far as Sarah’s life is concerned. Financial pressures as well as a divorce-torn family life push Sarah to the brink – shoplifting. But when she gets arrested, she is forced to give her life a serious makeover: study, therapy and community service, which land her with an unexpected romance, changing her life.
While the book starts out on the somewhat superficial level of shopping and gossip, it quickly takes an interesting turn when the well-bred youngsters start dealing with problems – divorce, disability, illness, teen pregnancy and bereavement. This is when the characters really start to develop, and where Deegan starts to show her true talent in writing for young people. However, she might have tried too hard with the plot; she does cram lots of dramatic issues into the lives of her protagonists and perhaps does not give each one enough attention. The book may resonate with modern teenagers familiar with the sometimes overwhelming nature of life, juggling familial relationships and financial worries with school, friendships and romance, etc.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading And For Your Information. Deegan’s addictively engaging narrative, relatable characters, realistic portrayal of relationships, and the interesting variety of personal issues dealt with are sure to make this book just as successful among teen audiences as its predecessor.