Review: Spotlight on Sunny by Keris Stainton

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A story about discovering who you are, sorting out friendships and family relationships, also exploring what it is like to grow up as a Muslim in Britain.


After winning a local film competition, Sunny and her best friends Kitty and Hannah are off to do a film-making course – in London! Sunny can’t believe her dad has let her come on her own (even if he has asked her to phone every day…) Sunny is loving the film-making classes and hanging out with their new friend – lovely, funny Will. Sunny knows that these things don’t fit with the future her parents want for her and she starts to wonder what she really wants. And that’s not even the biggest thing on her mind – there’s also the big secret she’s hiding from her best friends…


Review

WARNING: This is the follow-up to Keris’ other book in the Reel Friends series, Starring Kitty, so this review will have some possible spoilers for that book but will be spoiler-free for this one.

I was dead excited to receive a copy of Keris’ latest book in the post a few weeks ago because I adore how she writes and the warm characters she creates.  I hadn’t known this new book was coming out so soon, so it was an extra nice surprise.

Sunny and her best friends, Kitty and Hannah, head to London for a film course after winning a local competition and couldn’t be more excited.  Kitty is happy with her new girlfriend, Hannah is happy when there’s a bit of excitement and drama in her life but, as pleased as Sunny is to go to London, she’s also worried about her life and the future.  Her family is wonderful but there is a sense of pressure for her to follow a certain path and now she’s tempted to follow her heart a bit more.  She makes some new friends and even an enemy, which is very unlike her, but Sunny is hoping her time away from home will let her head work out what she really wants in life.  Can Sunny find happiness for herself as well as her family?  Will a secret she’s been hiding throw a spanner in her works or will a boy do that for her?

Spotlight on Sunny is another delightful gem from the brain of Keris Stainton who seems to have that magic touch when it comes to writing believable friendships as well as individually complex characters.  Everyone stands out for their unique qualities but each book in the series is letting every girl in the group have a moment to shine.  Sunny is a wonderful character and I loved how we got to see an insight into another faith and lifestyle but it wasn’t the focus for the whole book; it was simply part of who Sunny is.  Keris has found a lovely balance between highlighting a person as well as their personality.

I loved the new mix of characters in this book and the tension that brings for the original group.  Will is full of fun and brings out a new side in Sunny that is nice to see but it makes her question her own choices in life too.  

Spotlight on Sunny is just as heart-warming as Starring Kitty and a real pleasure to read.  

Published by Catnip Publishing and is available online and in bookshops now

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