Don’t Stop – playlists of life

Planning events these days will involve a playlist – that is, the significant songs that can be used during the event. Special songs for the wedding couple, meaningful songs for a birthday celebration, reminiscent songs for anniversaries. The Spotify generation can relate to this – and plan their playlist.

Stevie has a playlist her father left her – to deal with different days and different times – even though he wasn’t expecting to leave her life quite so soon. Her mother certainly didn’t expect that either – and Stevie has also ‘lost’ her too since she is severely depressed and unable to cope with daily life in any form – including caring for Stevie.

In another world, Hafiz was sent from his family – forced to flee as a refugee from Syria – and to leave his parents behind. Facing life without his parents (in a strange new country, in a new school), Hafiz finds some solace in Stevie’s isolation from others, when he first sits at his allocated desk, beside her, in homeroom.

Each has their own struggles, which slowly surface as they slowly expose different parts of their life to one another. And together, they find support.

Curham’s novel Don’t Stop Thinking about Tomorrow’ blossoms from the Fleetwood Mac song – as Stevie and Hafiz deal with the usual teen issues, along with their fragmented family lives. It is told alternatively by Stevie and Hafiz, giving two sides to the story. How these unlikely friends, cautious about sharing with others, ultimately work together (without romantic involvement) is what keeps you reading, and provides lots of food for thought.

What are your takeaways from this book?

Though it is set in England, would it easily transfer to an Australian setting?