The Other F-Word by Natasha Friend 

Milo and Hollis have met once, years ago, when they were kids their four mum’s found each other on-line and decided to meet up. Milo and Hollis are half siblings, they share the same sperm donor. When Milo’s Doctor suggests his biological father should get genetically tested to maybe shed some light on Milo’s extreme allergies, Milo jumps at the opportunity to search for his sperm donor. After deciding to start his search Milo contacts Hollis. Hollis and her mum Leigh’s lives have charged after Pam, Hollis other mum passed away seven years ago. After reconnecting, Milo enlists Hollis to help him find their donor. Along the way they find three other donor siblings, that join in on the search. Are these newly formed bonds are going to change their lives forever?

I didn’t like this book, in fact I had some real issues with it.

As someone who knows her biological parents and family I can’t begin to understand how people who don’t must feel. I do however know people conceived by a donor and I know people who have had children through a donor and going into this book with these people on my mind, I just didn’t like the way this story was told.

I really didn’t like Milo or Hollis’ voice, they just got on my nerves. A saving grace for me was JJ, Milo’s best friend. He kept me entertained to the point where I found myself scanning the next page hoping to see him on it, But by about a quarter of the way through I was completely over this book.

I am happy to say that after Hollis was introduced to JJ and they started interacting her character and voice softened and I didn’t hate her chapters as much.

I found all of the teen angst exhausting, it was just too heavy and took away from what could have been a really interesting storyline. The plot of this book had the bones of an interesting story, it just missed the mark.

I found myself agitated with the way the non-biological parents were treated as well as how they were portrayed. If I was someone who was inclined to DNF books this would have been one of them.

I think the premise of the book was interesting as well as some of the strangeness of the whole meeting related yet complete strangers idea. There were a few interesting and funny scenes, mainly revolving around JJ or Hollis’ mum Leigh, but apart from that I just didn’t enjoy this book.

From a writing stand point I just couldn’t connect with Natasha Friend’s writing. It seemed clinical and emotionless. Given the stories complex subject matter I was really disappointed in the lack of emotion in this book.

On paper this book had the makings of a great story; unique plot, emotional situations and a great subject matter, yet in reality it just didn’t eventuate. It was cold, clinical and boring.

If it wasnt for JJ and Leigh I wouldn’t have like anything about this book. I really do regret that I didn’t like this book. I really wanted to.

The only advice I could come up with for bettering this book would be maybe placing it in the middle grade age group. It might relate better to a younger reader. That’s all I can think of in regards to who might enjoy this book, because for me it was a missed opportunity for a potentially great book.

 

 

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