Anne by Zarina Macha
Audience: young adult-13 and up
Content Warnings: Adult themes, mentions of rape, domestic abuse, sex, self-harm, and bullying
My rating: 5 stars
Zarina Macha is a YA author from the UK. She has published, before Anne, a compilation of two Novellas called Every Last Psycho and a poetry collection called Art is a Waste of Time. I have now had the pleasure of reading all of her published or to be published works. Macha writes stories about teenagers who are in the midst of dealing with issues teenagers do but should never have to. Macha does this with tact and sensitivity, walking readers through the emotional impacts of her character’s choices.
Anne was written as if the main character was writing a journal the readers were allowed access to. The beginning focuses on Anne’s parents’ relationship and the reader sees a child surrounded by violence. Anne’s mother tries to insulate her from the worst, but Anne sees and hears much of what her father does to her mother. Her parents decide to homeschool Anne because her father wants to have as much control over Anne’s education as he can. This changes how Anne experiences school and learning and effects her later in the narrative. Macha reveals several twists about Anne and her parents throughout the book that I do not want to spoil but will say that some took turns I expected and some left me wanting to know more.
All in all, I found the book entertaining and well written. I enjoyed the references Macha made to Narnia (one of my favorite book series growing up) and to high school films such as Mean Girls. In some ways, the conflicts between Anne’s friend group and the “popular” seem derivative, however as I read further, the differences between most high school stories and Anne grew larger. I would definitely recommend this book to any who enjoy stories about high schoolers dealing with real-world problems and anyone who is looking for more LGBT representation in their books.
Zarina Macha’s author page on Amazon can be found here.
To purchase or borrow Anne on Kindle, follow this link.
Anne is available for ebook or paperback purchase on June 3, 2019. Please join me in becoming one of Zarina Macha’s followers.
I received a free ARC of this book, with thanks to the author. The decisions to review and my rating are my own.