The List of Things That Will Not Change

Bea’s life is transforming all around her and it’s proving impossible for her to keep her bearings. Her parents have divorced after her father coming out and now he is getting remarried. She’s happy for him and is looking forward to the wedding yet she can’t help but worry about …  everything, really. Homophobic uncles, new step-sisters, mean girls at school – she has a lot going on.

Rebecca Steed’s latest novel is a frank and touching story about the messiness of life which, by the time the reader reaches the wedding-set climax, they will have gone through a rollercoaster of emotions. And who better to accompany them than the protagonist Bea? Told through her perspective, she is a sharp, complex young girl whose high levels of anxiety hide an anger she doesn’t know how to control. A late revelation in the story reveals both the terrible mistakes we can make and how important it is to forgive ourselves even if that seems impossible.

The writing and characterization is top notch. I certainly appreciated how effectively the book reveals that what the adults aren’t telling Bea is as important as what they are. If you are looking for a funny human story about people making the best of their situation, I would recommend immediately putting this on your list.