Put down your cheesy romance novels and cookie cutter sci -fi dystopians, and get ready to read a book that will change your perspective on the world. That’s right, no more love triangles or predictable plot lines, it’s time for the real deal.
Fifteen Lanes is a YA novel that tells the tales of two teenage girls struggling in life for completely different reasons, and how their stories collide. Written by S.J Laidlaw, the book takes place in two starkly different neighbourhoods of Mumbai, India. The book follows Noor, a young teen living in the 15 lanes of the red light district of Mumbai whose mother is a sex worker. Noor is faced with poverty, discrimination, and the pressure to care for her younger siblings while making sure she herself is not forced into the sex trade so many were unable to avoid. Then there’s Grace, an insecure and shy 15 year old dealing with the ‘loss’ of her popular and beloved brother to university and her best friend to a new school. Grace is catfished online and is manipulated into doing something that will could haunt her for the rest of her life. Just when the pain starts to be too much for the two girls to bear, their lives are miraculously thrust together and they begin help each other heal.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book as I learned about an issue that girls my age are facing in the world, that I may have never known about otherwise. Fifteen Lanes taught me an important message about putting problems into perspective, staying strong in times of struggle, and caring for those around you.
Though this book may be difficult to read at times due to it’s subject matter, I promise you it’s a must read. I HIGHLY recommend this to anyone looking for an “important” read that will make them think deeper.
Ottawa Public Library’s Teen Bloggers in Residence are fantastic teen volunteer writers from across the city. They blog about their favourite teen reads and authors, and get writing assignments to cover special teen events happening at the library. Their residency rotates throughout the year. Call-outs for upcoming terms are made through the Teen Blog.