Liv takes us on a journey through her life from “Thirteen Weeks Before” to “Six Months After”. We discover Liv’s passion for photography, her brother’s obsession with sticking to the rules, the stupidity of Moronic Louise at school, and how the family copes as Mum’s terminal illness takes hold…Guided by Mum’s own childhood diaries, Liv finds a new way to live. This book is real, funny, utterly touching and absolutely heartwarming. Despite the sadness at the heart of the story, every reader will laugh and keep on turning the pages, charmed by Liv and her mum.
Thoughts before you started reading Dandelion Clocks?
CHRISSI: I’d heard a lot of good things about Dandelion Clocks, so I was very much looking forward to reading it.
LUNA: I just had the blurb to go on and based on that I knew it would be sad.
What did you think of Liv?
CHRISSI: Liv was an interesting character. I sometimes rolled my eyes when reading how naïve she was, but then I realise she was 11 years old, and had completely different priorities in her life. She may come across as a bit selfish, but she’s young, and quite innocent. Liv clearly feels hard done by because her brother has Asperger’s Syndrome. I struggled with her reactions towards her brother, but I think this is because I have worked with people with Asperger’s and I understand how hard the world is for them. However, I’ve never lived with someone with Asperger’s, so I somewhat understood that it had to be frustrating. Especially if you feel like you’re treated differently or your life is compromised because of it.
LUNA: I had a love/hate relationship with Liv throughout the book. If I’d known just how close to home this book was going to hit I’m not sure I would have read it. The problem was that I lived this when I was 11 and while some emotions and reactions resonated a lot of Liv’s behaviour was not my experience. Consequently I really struggled with her character.
CHRISSI: I really liked the diary entries and I also loved the bits of the book where Liv and her mother were making happy memories. I found the make-up/skincare section very sweet.
LUNA: The day Liv skips school, I actually felt that day. I also liked the diary entries from her mother, though Liv’s commentary on them was grating.
CHRISSI: I think the story could’ve done without the boy storyline. I understand why it was in there, but for me, it didn’t add anything to the story.
LUNA: The Ben storyline because seriously? I’m sorry that just didn’t work – at all. Maybe if Liv had been 15 not 11, but even then it would have been pushing it because if you’re world is breaking apart whether a boy likes you or not is not going to matter. Trust me.
Favourite character / moment?
CHRISSI: I really liked Liv’s mum and I also liked Isaac. I think it would’ve been interesting to see things from both Liv and Isaac’s perspective. It’s not often I cry out for a dual perspective, but with this book, given Isaac’s differences, I think it could’ve been incredibly interesting.
LUNA: I actually liked Isaac, in a way I think I would have preferred the story from his perspective.
Was Dandelion Clocks what you expected?
CHRISSI: Yes. I was expecting a moving read, and that’s what I got.
LUNA: Maybe, it’s hard to say. I was hoping for a better connection with the main character.
Would you recommend it?
CHRISSI: Of course!
LUNA: I’m going to say: Yes. I think my personal experience impacts a lot of my feelings for this book and maybe if that wasn’t the case I would have enjoyed it more.