‘Engrossing…a powerful book with characters that will stay with you‘ **** Heat
‘What a yearning, tenderly bruising beauty of a book. Generous, gorgeous and funny’ Rhik Samadder
‘Unputdownable. Totally wonderful’ Daisy Goodwin
The party has to end sometime
It all starts on New Year’s Eve. A night that has to be a success, whatever the cost. For Joni and her friends, it’ll be a party that promises all the high stakes and glamour of any other, but by sunrise they’ll be dealing with something darker than the usual post-party comedown.
Not that they let this stand in their way. For this is their year to revel in all that the playground of London has to offer: sneaking into places they shouldn’t, breaking every rule, falling in love with the wrong people. All the while avoiding one undeniable truth: it’s not if the party ends, it’s how.
JUST FOR TODAY is a bittersweet evocation of the end of innocence, and an exhilarating celebration of having nothing to lose – until suddenly, you do.
This is a book that will make you think hard, make you laugh and wince and reflect on things you might never have contemplated in quite that way before or almost forgotten you once thought – and make you come back to it to re-read certain parts so you can drink in the elixir of youth, whilst at the same time be shocked and affected by some of its troubling and darker passages and glad that your own nights of all-night revelry and unwise decisions are firmly behind you…
Just For Today tells the story of Joni who is navigating her way through life in her 20s though the good times and bad and experiencing the highs and lows of life in the capital – where feeling free and feeling trapped are not always a million miles from one another –It’s all the more compelling for feeling remarkably like real life, despite some of the more difficult and dark aspects of their hedonistic lifestyle choices that we are faced with through its pages. Its vividly realised lives are so convincingly drawn that the characters spring to life right before our eyes. We get a no holds barred insight into the fallout of this particular evening, allowing us to see the truth behind the glitter and the emptiness at the bottle of the last bottle of champagne
This memorable book – for memorable it most definitely is, despite its sometimes difficult subject matter – is so much more than a story about intersecting lives – it’s a story about connections and the small intertwining threads that make up the tapestry of life; a story about darkness transfigured into light and most of all a story about how human beings connect and relate to one another even if it is only in tiny and fleeting ways – and how choices and decisions can reverberate in ways we might never have imagined…
The book gives a real insight into Joni’s run-up to New Year’s Eve and then looks at the way that this longed-for night becomes something that none of them could ever have anticipated – I found it truly engrossing and it would be difficult for me to choose one part that I preferred over the others – different parts of the novel were all absolutely compelling in their own right. I absolutely adored its blending of the personal with the idea of a coming-of-age novel where the darkness and bleak aspects contrast with the sense of youth and connection and we get to sense the small moments of pleasure and hope amongst darkness, sorrow and pain.
This book might be quite emotionally challenging for some people, owing to the nature of its content, but please be reassured that although it does not skirt around the darkness or diminish the impact of NYE – The story itself looks at life afterwards through the prism of these experiences and the aftermath too. There is much to think about here and its blending of the hopeful and the painful is deftly done, leading to a reading experience that is very hard to put into words – the closest I can come to is that this book distils the joy and pain of youth into an intoxicating mixture that will compel you as you think about how you yourself might have reacted and suspend judgement of others as they navigate the aftermath in their own way.
Just For Today is a book that you won’t forget easily. A beautifully written novel that contains within it the fizz and stir of youth even as it looks back on the hurt and pain that was caused. It is an intelligent and original read that will leave you feeling like you see the world around you with new eyes and a read that will keep coming back to you at the quieter moments of the days as your thoughts drift, some of the moments of this book will come to mind and make you appreciate the small moments in your day, the positive relationships that you have and the power of a moment or a choice to change things forever. Please just go out and buy yourself a copy now and I have no doubt that you’ll fall for it as hard as I did.
‘What a yearning, tenderly bruising beauty of a book. Generous, gorgeous and funny, it’s a brilliant portrayal of friendship in the roaring noughties. When I finished, I was so bereft and impressed that I turned straight back to the beginning and started again’ — Rhik Samadder
‘Unputdownable. Totally wonderful’ ― Daisy Goodwin
Writer On The Shelf
Nell Hudson grew up on a farm in Worcestershire. She graduated from the Oxford School of Drama in 2012 and has been working as a professional actor ever since. Just For Today is her first novel.