Is it just me or were Jaqueline Wilson books way too dark for us?

Jacqueline Wilson books are almost a right of passage for any confused pre-teen/teenage girl wishing to find her place in life. Little did my mother know quite how dark and intense some of the themes throughout the books were as she lovingly brought them for Christmas, birthday and holiday presents. It’s only now looking back that you realise just how truly complex some of the characters are, here are a few examples:

Kiss, 2007

A book about two childhood friends, Carl and Sylvie, who through teenage years go through a tough period as Carl struggles with his sexuality (spoiler, he comes out as gay). A lot of this book is about the pressures on teenagers, the dark relationship between Carl and his parents, as well as childhood dreams crushing under reality. Not really for easy reading…

Vicky Angel, 2007

Jade finds herself at a loss when her best friend Vicky dies in a road accident. Sad, of course, but this story becomes darker and more twisted as Vicky haunts Jade and dictates how she should live her life without her, stopping Jade from moving on and making new friends.

The Diamond Girl, 2005

A book about a single, young mother and her four daughters, each with a different father, coping with yet another one of their mother’s pregnancies. The daughters are troubled, and their caring responsibilities for their mum and each other means that their lives aren’t typical of others their age. Domestic violence, family tension and strong mental health struggles come up in the book, making for heavy reading for its intended audience of 10-14 years.

Perhaps these books have helped us grow? To understand different situations that we and our peers may find ourselves in? Do you think the books have changed you? Let me know in the comments below.

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