Nora quickly scans the room and the members of the Bergvik East home-service. It’s all so familiar, even though she’s never actually worked there. It’s always the same kind of people, the same smell and the same kind of room. The lump in her throat is growing. Her eyes are stinging. Eight long bloody weeks, in Bergvik, probably the worst place on Earth. She’s lived there all her life, and her greatest fear is being stuck there forever without experiencing anything else. Despite her fears, she’s going to be spending eight weeks working for a home-service group this summer. What else is she supposed to do? She needs money after all. And she did choose the social services programme, even though she wanted to do art. Her mum was against it. “You can’t make money drawing pictures! Not in Bergvik anyway.” The only positive thing about Bergvik is Leo. He’s been Nora’s best friend since nursery, but he seems secretive these days. What’s going on? Maybe he’s planning to move away – away from Bergvik and away from her?
See You Around portrays the conflict between doing what you want to do deep down and doing what is expected of you. The monotony and safety of a small town needs to weigh up against dreams of moving somewhere else to study or to work, somewhere where nobody knows who you are. What path should you choose?
Linda Åkerstam has written several easy-to-read books for younger readers. See You Around is her first young adult novel.