Youth by Kevin Curran dives into the lives of four teenagers in Ireland’s most diverse town, Balbriggan. Angel is about to finish school and discover if Drill music and his YouTube fame can deliver on their promises. Princess is battling to escape her claustrophobic surroundings and go to university. Dean is ready to come out from under his famous father’s shadow. Tanya, struggling with the spotlight of internet infamy, is still posting her dream life for all of her faithful followers.
Isolated and disorientated by the white noise and insurmountable expectations of adolescence, our protagonists are desperate to find anything that helps them belong. Oblivious to each other’s presence, potential and struggles, they pass on the street as strangers. But when they do intersect, the connections they make will change the course of their lives.
Twenty-first century life – hyper-sexualized, social media saturated, anxiety-plagued – is here. Living inside its characters’ heads, and negotiating their interior landscapes, this book is a love song to the possibilities of youth.
Curran’s evocative writing yields the authenticity this novel demands. An instinctive affection and admiration for the characters portrayed in Youth takes the reader on a journey through streets less travelled.