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Publisher's Summary

A Cosmopolitan, BBC, Stylist, Daily Mail, Good Housekeeping and Guardian Best Book Pick for 2021! 

Sometimes it's easy to fall between the cracks....

At 3.04 p.m. on a hot, sticky day in June, Bess finds out she's pregnant. 

She could tell her social worker Henry, but he's useless. 

She should tell her foster mother, Lisa, but she won't understand.

She really ought to tell Boy, but she hasn't spoken to him in weeks. 

Bess knows more than anyone that love doesn't come without conditions.

But this isn't a love story.... 

©2021 Kirsty Capes (P)2021 Orion Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

"The literary equivalent of gold dust." (Benjamin Zephaniah)

'Astounding. Heart-breaking but hopeful, and a fresh new voice." (Pandora Sykes)

"Moving and beautifully written." (Libby Page)

"Made me laugh and cry in equal measure." (Good Housekeeping)

What listeners say about Careless

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i really struggled with this book.

so many decisions bess made drove me batty. i couldn't understand how she could continue to make mistake after mistake, hiding from decisions because they were hard.

but as her story unfolded it made more sense and i understood that while for me, it didn't make sense, it made perfect sense for bess. and i realised that we all have to make our own way through life. i think I'm more like eesh and speak my mind but I've learned through the book that the world is filled with lots of people like bess and they need their journey respected and heard.

in summary - perceiver with Bess and a beautiful story will happen before your eyes

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  • Jess
  • 21-05-2021

Wonderfully written and read

The story is brilliant and Amber reads it perfectly. I would listen to it again.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-05-2021

brilliantly narrated

gripped! was rooting for Bess all the way through. Narrator brought the character to life .

2 people found this helpful

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  • sarah
  • 04-06-2021

Unmissable read

I honestly was not too sure at the beginning thinking this book would be a bit young for me and more a “young Readers” book. How wrong was I. I can not fault this book one bit. From being fully immersed in to the characters like I really know them. The author has made these characters really come alive and I felt Bess’s worries , thoughts ,pain and achievements. It threw me back to when I was 15/16 and all the mixed experiences we go through. There is raw truth and honest in this book and also highlighting children in the system which rarely gets written about. I loved this book and the narrator was fantastic is expressing exactly how Bess would have felt.
Thank you

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-08-2021

Can’t remember a book made me weep

An extraordinary book, beautifully written. Gut-punching raw, utterly perfect. I wish I could read it for the first time again.


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  • Mark Brown
  • 03-08-2021

Wonderful story read beautifully

Careless is a powerful look at the lived realities of young people in foster care, but most importantly it is driven by its wonderful characters. Capes writes her characters so vividly, I instantly fell in love with Bess and Eshal. The narrator is a true talent, she animates Bess' wit, her wry humour and her boldness as a character, but also Bess' insecurity, and the pain that she tries her best to conceal. She really was Bess. Amber Gadd's voice breathes so much life into the characters - the stakes feel palpable and she effortlessly captures the playfulness of Capes' writing and characters. Capes' words and Gadd's voice gel together so perfectly that I feel like Bess is a friend of mine, and I was rooting for her throughout. The characters are so well-realised and so well-performed that I caught myself smiling at something they had said, or worried about what might happen to them, while getting on with my day. Can't recommend highly enough!

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  • fmh
  • 23-06-2021

Insight into the care experience

Makes you think we must do better for children
Enjoyed the story -made me sad frustrated and left me with hope for Bess for a happier future

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  • Lancslass
  • 07-06-2021

Very powerful

Very well narrated and so well written; I felt for Bess every step of the way.

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  • heidi
  • 02-06-2021

Beautiful

Beautiful heartbreaking and real. Every part of me wants to scoop Bess up and look after her.

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  • clare
  • 24-05-2021

Loved it.

What a fantastic book. So well written and narrated. Highly recommend. Really enjoy it. Important themes written about in a really assessable way.

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