Dear Dylan

In 2010 I self-published my first novel for young adults, Dear Dylan. It went on to win the YoungMinds Book Award and then, in a real-life fairy tale, it became the subject of a publishing auction. It will be relaunched in the UK by Egmont in April 2012, and is also being published in France and Germany. 

Here are some of the reviews it got upon its initial publication...

'Tender, quirky and cool... Siobhan Curham is a name to watch.' Cathy Cassidy, author of Angel Cake, Indigo Blue and Driftwood.

'A funny, moving, thought-provoking story about a very special friendship.' Tabitha Suzuma, award-winning author of Forbidden.

Dear Dylan deals with some complex issues that many young people may encounter, and it does so – entirely through emails – in a medium that they can understand. It is a story that reminds us of the power of true friendships. Booktrust would like to congratulate Siobhan Curham on a wonderful achievement.’ Elaine Bielby, Booktrust National Development Manager for Health Partnerships.

‘An absorbing, moving novel told in emails that start as fanmail between a 14-year-old girl and her idol, but develop in ways neither side could have imagined. I finished it last night and I’m still thinking about the characters so much that I want check on them and see how things are going for them now!’ Luisa Plaja, author of Extreme Kissing, Chicklish.

‘All in all, this was a great and fast-paced read about one girl’s very important summer, during which her life is turned upside down and finally sorted out. It’s nicely written – the two narrative voices are convincing and can be easily distinguished. It’s a lovely story that will make you occasionally pull at your heartstrings, but ultimately bring a smile to your face. All I can say is, “GO, GEORGIE!”Bookalicious Ramblings

‘This is an absolutely charming novel. There’s really no other way to say it…it’s just such a sweet and moving read that I didn’t want to leave these characters behind. While I was reading Dear Dylan, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the book 84, Charing Cross Roadby Helene Hanff. While the correspondence in Dear Dylan is fictional, Charing Cross are actual letters shared between two fascinating yet normal people. In both works, you get to see friendships grow through the faceless intimacy that letters and/or e-mails offer. I really loved Georgie. She’s has such an honest voice that you can’t help but cheer for her as she’s constantly overcoming obstacles. Her experience is one that many children are facing and it’s nice to read a story where someone is willing to help. I was one of those fangirly kids who wrote to her favorite celebrities, of course, it was completely a pencil and paper affair back then. So, I could completely relate to Georgie as she looked to one of her idols for the answers. Those answers sometimes just happen to come from other sources. Check Dear Dylan out and read 84, Charing Cross Roadwhile your at it. They are both wonderful reads full of laughs, tears, and heart.’ Carrie’s YA Bookshelf

‘Dear Dylan is truly a diamond of a novel. It’s touching, funny, and full of heart; simply a novel I just couldn’t get enough of. In all, I feel the funny and touching novel Dear Dylan establishes Siobhan as one great writer, one who I hope has a very, very long successful career in front of her filled with more wickedly awesome books!’ Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf

‘Siobhan Curham has penned a heart-warming story that explores the social media of emails and how a most unlikely relationship can be formed via the Internet. What transpires is a telling of truths, hopes, dreams, fears and a bond of friendship that is endearing to behold. A story to lighten the soul. I laughed and cried and only wanted more. Siobhan has done an amazing job and I cannot wait to read more from her, Bravo! If you are in the mood for a great read that will entertain and delight you while making you smile then you need not look any further. This is the book for you.’ Tales of a Ravenous Reader

‘Curham did a great job writing from a troubled a teen’s point of view. With how serious things were throughout each email there were times I couldn’t help but to laugh out loud at the great lines that each of the characters had. Georgie really brought Dear Dylan to life. She was fantastic and it was fascinating to get a look in on her life and all of her troubles. She experiences every humiliating incident that most teens do such as crushes, toxic friends and family issues. She is extremely likeable and well-written with a personality that shines. As well as being easy-to-relate-to, I felt a lot of empathy for Georgie. At times, I felt so sorry for her and wanted to enter her bubble and be her friend when she had none. As things just start to go right for her, everything that possibly could, goes wrong. Her miserable, bully of a stepdad tries to shatter her world as we take a look into her first love.I think many people would benefit from reading this. It can be quite a serious story at times but has a spark of light-heartedness around every corner. I found myself cheering for Georgie and willing the plot to go on and on. The structure of emails is fabulous and is really the only way the book should have been written. Curham has written a poignant, honest account that I predict, will be loved.’ Review, The Sweet Bonjour, YA Fiction Site.

‘Dear Dylan is a touching and emotional story about a girl finding a much-needed friend in a most unlikely place. I must admit that Dear Dylan didn’t unfold in the way that I expected at all. And I’m glad it didn’t because I got something really special instead. The story goes so much deeper than the summary would suggest and upon finishing it I can definitely see why it has been nominated for the Young Minds Book Award. Being a part of the blogging community I know how invaluable my online friends are, but this friendship really did change their lives, which is completely amazing. For a book written entirely in emails and coming in at only 196 pages, I got to know Georgie and her friends and family very well. I really grew to care for her and I have to admit that that’s extremely rare for me with books written in this format. The way that the emails are written exude feeling and personality. Dear Dylan was something different for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.’ Review, So Many Books So Little Time.

‘There’s a little bit of everything in this book and I commend Curham’s ability to write such strong and realistic characters that many people of all ages will be able to relate to.’ Review, A Life Bound By Books

‘Although Dear Dylan covers some serious themes, it does so with a lightness of touch that keeps the reader captivated from start to finish. There’s also a real specialness in the way that the email format brings so much to the story. It’s a book that reminds us of the power of true friendship. It’s intimate and honest, and written with a freshness that I believe will enchant teen and adult readers alike. I loved it.’ Review, I Was a Teenage Book Geek.

‘Dear Dylan is a thought-provoking and equally heart-warming book with wide appeal to both teenagers and adults. Written entirely in emails, I really enjoyed reading this and would reccomend it as the perfect gift for teenage girls!Full of issues for the modern day teenager, Dear Dylan was quirky, whimsical book. I usually like books written in an email typeface and this certainly was no exception. The events didn’t unfold in the way I thought they would which proved to make this a shining star, exploring an unpredictable relationship. When Georgie Harris decides to contact soap-star Dylan, she is beyond thrilled to have received a response. Soon enough realising that these emails are automatic replys to every fan, she is shocked when she finally receives a real email from her favourite actor. Her love for on-screen hunk, Dylan is really sweet and very funny at the beginning of the book when she is in the first stages of email. We think Georgie is going to be an average teen but soon enough dive beneath the surface. Georgie is a very real character, in her first few emails I was reminded of a typical teen who hero worships the actor Dylan – I can remember being very similar at her age.  As you get to know her you can’t help but like her and hope that her dreams come true.  Georgie’s situation at home is very difficult and I was genuinely concerned for her safety at times.  That for me is a sign of a great book – one where you care what happens to the characters. I don’t want to give away any of the storyline so I’ll just say that this book will have you laughing out loud one minute and close to tears the next, I actually had goose bumps towards the end and really couldn’t put the book down until I knew how things turned out.  This book may be aimed at young adults but it is one that I’m sure most adults will enjoy too & I’d highly recommend it.’ Review, Sarah’s Book Reviews

‘To sum up – a fab little story with a plucky lovely main character who is a fab role model for the age range the book is aimed at.’ The Overflowing Library

‘This is a very beautiful story … and I enjoyed it utterly. I really recommend you read this book and I assure you that you’re going to love it.’ Darlyn and Books