Media Club Reviews: Ginger and Me

In May, our members were invited to take part in our media club. They were offered a copy of ‘Ginger and Me’ by Elissa Soave to read before joining a Q&A session online with the author. Check out what they thought of the book here.

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On the 23rd May, I joined a Who Cares? Scotland book club session, with ‘Ginger and Me’ author, Elissa Soave. It was so good to hear from the writer herself and learn all about how the book came into existence, where her inspiration came from and to learn her tips for other aspiring authors. I’ve written a wee review about the book.   

Ginger and Me is a really unique coming-of-age book (in a good way) that is set in Uddingston and centers around two main characters, a lass called Wendy and, you guessed it, her new friend called Ginger! Ginger is Care Experienced but, unlike many stories featuring Care Experienced characters, this feels genuine and I could relate to her.   

Wendy’s mum has just passed away at the start of the book and the story follows her adjusting to this, which is especially hard because she needs routine to thrive. Both characters are allowed to be different and themselves, they don’t fit the normal ‘mold’ assigned to female characters, like the tired ‘badass unrealistic unbeatable superhero’ trope or just ‘some male character’s love interest’. Instead, they are allowed to be weird, vulnerable and human.   

Because the book is so well written, I got really invested in Wendy and Ginger’s story which made it a challenging read at times because I got frustrated at some of the decisions Wendy was making! But at the same time, it made her so much more real. Plus, female characters can be flawed – they don’t owe us perfect or pretty.  

Elissa’s descriptions, in general, are so vivid that it helps you visualise the places and people she writes about. Uddingston is actually the author’s hometown and she does a good job of bringing it to life and making it feel like you’re really there.   

I’m glad I joined the Q&A because Elissa made a good point about the fact that so many tales happen in big fancy places. And that working-class stories aren’t often centered in fiction, especially stories about young women like Wendy.   

My summary is that this is a really good read if you’re looking to pick up something relatable, funny, honest and heart-breaking all in one. By the end of the book, I found I genuinely cared about Wendy and Ginger and was sad the story was done.   

I want to leave you with a favourite quote from the author’s acknowledgments page to aspiring women writers everywhere that “your story matters and only you can tell that”. You own your story and it belongs to you and deserves to be heard if you want to share it. 

This article was written by Ira from the Media Club.