I read a lot of books, and I read quickly. I do not always process quickly. I would have chosen a different title for this book. I went into it thinking, "It's a YA, so the "agony" will be angsty" Nope. Poor Bun. I would say that her life was agony until she leaves home.
Bun's mom is a hoarder, and her Dad left her there alone to deal with it. You get just enough insight into that situation that as you see Bun running away, you don't think she is making a mistake.
She isn't a typical runaway as no one is looking for her. Luckily, she runs into Busker Boy, and he sees how young and innocent she is and takes her off the streets to a communal type squat where she becomes part of a "family" for the first time. All the young people living there are running from something. Besides Busker Boy, you've got a drag queen, an Inuit, an evil landlord, an amazing chef, and a young woman who didn't want to be a nun.
It isn't a long book, but the subject matter is all heavy, and although I flew through it I was sad that I didn't get to see what happened next. I'm sure Bun will be all right, but it's that kind of book that leaves you wanting to know more.
It seems like a theme lately- again- older end of YA on this one. Lots to talk about- including the social stigmas of the 1980's. As much as I enjoyed it, I think I need to read a fairy tale next as a palette cleanser. :)
The Agony of Bun O'keefe By Heather Smith