The After School Club (I'll Be Home For Christmas anthology) Review

Saturday, 16 December 2017


This isn't like a usual book review on my blog. Sarah from The Little Contemporary Corner asked if I would like to take part in a blog tour for the I'll Be Home For Christmas anthology, and I volunteered to take the stop for Holly Bourne's story, so I'm specifically reviewing that story from the book. 

That's also why today's Blogmas post is a little bit late, because this is a readalong, we've been reading one story a day. So I woke up this morning to read The After School Club and now I'm in tears. 
The After School Club is about two characters, Mercedes and Ben. Ben is a golden boy from a good family background, Mercedes isn't. They form an unlikely, secret friendship and spend their nights after school eating McDonalds, talking about real world issues and drinking vodka.

This is only a short story, so I can't say much more without ruining the whole thing for you, but I believe you will be just as moved as I was in thirty pages. That's right, it took thirty pages to reduce me to tears. Holly Bourne has such an emotive way of writing that you get annoyed when her characters are annoyed and then you cry hysterically when they're sad.

Mercedes comes across as a strong female character from the word go and even though Ben seems like the sort of guy who has everything figured out, there is definitely something lingering under the surface that suggests not everything is as perfect as it seems. The two character's get to share some special moments together in the snow, away from the social hierarchy of school. 

This story isn't particularly festive, there is a little mention of a lonely sounding Christmas but there is snow and cozy moments so that was enough for me. This story is definitely up there with Non Pratt's story as my favourite in the anthology so far. 

If you haven't got the I'll Be Home For Christmas anthology yet then you should definitely pick it up. You can pick and choose your favourite authors work, the stories are short and low commitment and £1 from the sale of every book goes to Crisis, the national homelessness charity, if that's not justification for buying a new book then I don't know what is. 

Have you read this story? If so what did you think? And what stories should I be looking forward to? Tomorrow we'll be reading Juno Dawson's story and Charlotte will have a post for you over at Wonderfully Bookish <3
Thanks for reading!


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