REVIEW: Tripping - Abby Williams


Let’s start by establishing that books about drug use are fascinating. From my perspective, to get inside the head of someone who is living life on basically a different planet to me is almost like reading a fantasy novel, the rules of the real world are scrapped and replaced with bizarre parallels. In Abby Williams’ Tripping, I was interested by the range of drugs protagonist Scarlet and her friends explore, the analogies were eye-opening and the first person perspective perfectly suited.

Scarlet, Deano and Lauryn were all well-established, unique characters that I really felt like I got to know over the course of the novel. Their personalities were so distinct and their voices so individual that it added a level of realism to the story. Another positive was the structure, which was balanced, without any lulls of action and a definite climax and well-timed conclusion. I read the book in two sittings and felt it suited that length of devoted time to it in order to soak it all up, kind of like a film.

With that in mind, the book wasn’t perfect. Scarlet’s background isn’t completely revealed until the end of the novel when I think that could have added another layer to the story had it been mentioned earlier. She references her mum throughout but I was always wondering, is there no one else? Also, I felt that there needed to be an interval between the first and second drug-taking episodes, to emphasise that they weren’t obsessed by drugs at the start of the book and to give some indication of what their lives were like without drugs.

I got the impression that Deano believed he could stop taking drugs whenever he wanted, and that feeling of being in control is often associated with drug users so at first it made sense to me. But Deano really did seem to be in control of his addiction… which didn’t fit well with me at all. In this way, the story seemed to be saying that only Scarlet, because of the other issues in her life, was reliant on being high. I was shouting in my head – it’s not the boy that’s ruining your life, Scarlet, it’s the drugs! Then again, if a book can make me that passionate then it must be pretty good.

Overall, I’d give this book a 3/5. It represents friendship in such a wonderful, heart-breaking way and balances the theme of friendship with romance which was refreshing to say the least! There’s so much potential in Abby Williams’ writing so I’m looking forward to her future releases – I get the feeling that they’re only going to get better.

You can buy this book here in eBook or print format.

Love, Jess

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