Laura Lähteenmäki: Iskelmiä [Hits songs]
Helsinki: WSOY, 2013. 230 pp.
Laura Lähteenmäki addresses the difficult topics of friendship and loyalty in her novels for young adult readers. Now she has taken on an important topic: the right of a girl approaching adulthood to set boundaries around her body and mind. Sixteen-year-old Aino is a good girl who hasn’t had time for anything in her life besides her involvement in the Girl Guides. Her mother’s unemployment has repercussions on their family relations, and Aino turns elsewhere to escape the melancholy atmosphere at home. Interest from her classmate Samuli comes at an opportune time, but inexperienced Aino is confused by his erratic emotions.The depiction of emotional and physical abuse in this novel is grimly authentic. Lähteenmäki provides an excellent sense of a girl’s feeling of detachment and her struggle between her environment and the pressures she has created for herself.
Translated by Ruth Urbom
Tags: books for young people
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