I'm really happy today to be kicking off this fun extract tour surrounding the debut UKYA book, The Baby by Lisa Drakeford! The Baby is a really fun book that surrounds 5 people at a 17th birthday party and the very unexpected events after a baby being born. What I love so much about the book is that the birth of this baby ties these characters all together but Lisa Drakeford really allows all 5 characters to shine and tell their own stories.
This blog tour extract will share snippets of each of these five characters and I really hope you enjoy it. I thought The Baby was a really interesting book - that covered teen pregnancy and parenthood as well as bullying and domestic violence. It was a surprising range of content in this gloriously brightly coloured book!
For today's extract, I bring you Olivia...Olivia
They make their way up the stairs. They stand by the bathroom door – there’s another low moan. They look at each other.
‘Who is it?’
Olivia shrugs. ‘Dunno, but I’ve not seen Nicola in ages. I’m worried about her. I wonder if it’s her.’
‘Nicola, is that you?’ Ben calls.
Another moan, almost a growl. Olivia’s heart thuds. She sees Alice looking anxious through the open bedroom door.
‘Nicola – can you open the door? Let me in babe.’
There’s no reply.
‘Nicola!’ She raps sharply.
Still nothing apart from that low moaning again. It prickles the back of her neck.
‘We’re going to have to break in,’ she mutters to Ben. Best not think about her parents.
Ben squares his shoulders and jerks his weight against the door. It doesn’t budge. He shoves against the wood again and still it doesn’t move. But the moaning has notched up a level. It’s got to be Nicola behind the door. And Olivia is supposed to be her best friend. What on earth is she doing in there?
‘Here, let me help.’ She says.
Ben and Olivia heave their bodies against the door at the same time and at last there’s a splintering sound. After their second thrust, the thin wooden panel breaks and the lock gives way.
They jostle their way into the small, hot room and peer at the sight before them.
It’s not one they’re expecting.
It is Nicola in there. But not the Nicola they’re used to seeing. This Nicola is on all fours, her head and shoulders over the bath. Her bum high. Moaning and wailing now.
At first Olivia thinks she’s being sick. Throwing up in the bath.
But like the growl earlier, there’s something animal-like about her position. This is so much more than drunken vomiting.
Olivia kneels down next to the quivering figure. ‘Nic . . . Nic, you OK?’
Nicola shakes her head. Her cheeks are flushed high and there’s a slick of sweat on her skin.
She turns to her oldest friend. ‘It hurts. It feels like I’m dying.’