Me and Mr J is written from the point of view of Lara, our fifteen year old protagonist. Lara is at a difficult enough age as it is, but her parents are having troubles both financially and, as a result, in their relationship, and her family life is suffering. Add to this, the bullies have singled Lara out and are treating her really badly at school... and making it absolutely clear her family will suffer even more if she speaks to anyone. This, I believe, is the root of this story, the poor girl has a hideous psychological nightmare going on, and seemingly no solutions available to her.
Enter Mr J, a very young, newly qualified teacher, who is instantly a hit with the girls in year 11. Lara sees in him a way of avoiding the bullies for a while and escaping the family issues that are constantly on her mind. As a result her feelings for him snowball into something enormous, and this is how things develop. Two vunerable people finding their way.
While this story of forbidden love should, perhaps, have been shocking, it was in fact more about other issues than the relationship between Lara and Mr J, in my opinion. Also, as it was told entirely from Lara's perspective, and in the form of a diary, it was great to get to know her and see her sense of humour. There are a few lines in the book that made me laugh out loud, and I particularly love the way Lara records her interactions with her Gran.
I love the voice of Lara in this, all of the characters are strong, I think the way it is written as a diary reads really well and I do like the ending and the epilogue too. I can't wait to read more from this author.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.