Reviewed by Amber Elias, age 15

Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth

Dispite how rough Aideen’s home life was, along with the father who was married to another woman with a completely different family, and her mother who let that wretched man use her over and over while struggling with an alcohol addiction, she was doing pretty good. However,  there’s her school and social life to consider, or lack thereof. She had a total of one friend, Holly, who had a LOT of other friends that were NOT Aideen, and she had awful marks she had gotten since primary school. Clearly there was a lot going on with her life, but that was the last thing she wanted to think about. So, when the opportunity to solve other people’s problems presented itself, how could she resist? Through a complex business of “social service”, Aideen aides her peers through tough, laughable situations that they probably could’ve avoided in the first place, and becomes an unlikely hero. But what happens when the jobs get too risky, and her new friends’ futures are on the line? What happens when she starts noticing the way her best friend’s arch nemesis, Meabh, holds a pen between her teeth? Aideen isn’t sure, but what she does know is that it definitely isn’t her problem. 

Not My Problem is a fun YA novel that covers both the surface level and absolutely devastating issues that teenagers face in this day and age. The first person, inner monologue, style of this novel makes it a relatable and entertaining read. There are many moments where you can find yourself not only relating to Aideen, but everyone else she encounters on her mischievous adventures. It is the perfect length, and is paced well, holding a variety of representation on a lot of fronts (race, gender, sexuality. This makes it a truly hilarious yet heartwarming story.

3.5 stars.

Find this book in our catalog: N/A

Catalog Number: N/A

359 pages