Heb Law Mam - Heiddwen Tomos

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Y cydbwysedd perffaith o dristwch a hiwmor.

The perfect balance of humour and sadness.

Genre: #arddegau #hiwmor / #humour #teenage

Gwerth addysgiadol/educational value: ◉◉◉◉

Negeseuon positif/positive messages: ◉◉◉◉

Themau trist,anodd/upsetting, tough themes: ◉◉◉◉

Trais, ofn/violence, scary: ◎◎◎◎◎

Iaith gref/language: ◎◎◎◎

Rhyw/sex: ◎◎◎◎◎

Hiwmor/humour: ◉◉◉◉◎

Her darllen/reading difficulty: ◉◉◉◉

Dyfarniad/Rating: ★★★★☆


Rhaid i mi gyfaddef, pan welais i’r clawr (sy’n effeithiol iawn btw) a’r strapline ‘Cemo fel caead bedd,’ doeddwn i ddim yn siŵr os byddai’r llyfr yn apelio. Ar ôl teimlo digon down efo’r holl fusnes lockdown a coronavirus, doeddwn i ddim awydd darllen rhywbeth oedd am wneud i mi deimlo’n fwy fflat. Wel – pa mor anghywir o’n i? Dwi’n gweld rŵan pam fod y Saeson yn dweud ‘Don’t judge a book by it’s cover,’ a dwi’n falch iawn mod i wedi ei ddarllen. Beth sy’n ddiddorol yw mai llyfr wedi ei anelu at y grŵp oedran 11-14 yw hwn OND fel dyn tipyn yn hŷn na’r gynulleidfa darged, mi wnes i ei fwynhau’n arw. Felly, peidiwch â gwneud y camgymeriad o feddwl mai llyfr i teenage girls yn unig yw hwn chwaith.


Prif gymeriad y stori yw Efa, merch ysgol sy’n gorfod wynebu pob math o sialensau arferol yr arddegau fel ffrindiau (neu ddiffyg), tad embarassing, bwlis, athrawon, ac wrth gwrs…y cariad cyntaf. Ar ben yr usuals, mae ei mam ar fin rhoi genedigaeth AC yn dioddef o gancr y fron. Waw - lot o s**t i un person orfod delio efo! Er fod na themâu dwys yma, mae ’na hiwmor drwyddo draw ac o ganlyniad fe gawn lyfr sy’n andros o hawdd ei ddarllen – mae’r jôcs yn balance-io’r darnau trist yn dda.


Mae’r llyfr yn llawn o ddarnau bach doniol a wnaeth i mi wenu. Ddim cweit ’run peth allan o gyd destun ond dyma rai o fy ffefrynnau:


  • Efa’n disgrifio’r giang o ferched fel “côr o lyfu tîn.”

  • Mam Efa’n sôn am Britney Spears a dim clem gan Efa pwy oedd hi!

  • Arsylwadau Efa o dalentau’r athro druan, Mr Llywelyn: “Roedd ei wersi yn draed moch fel arfer.”

  • Cai’n disgrifio Gwen a’i sterics fel “Shani Cyffyffl” (gair da… cyffyffl!)

  • Cracking one-liner i ddisgrifio Dylan (cradur) fel “Striflyn o grwt. Roedd mwy o gig mewn chicken nugget.”


Athrawes uwchradd ydi’r awdur, ac er mod i’n gwybod hyn gynt, roedd yn amlwg yn yr ysgrifennu. ‘Write what you know’, maen nhw’n ddweud yndê? Wel, mae hi’n nabod ei chynulleidfa i’r dim ac mae’r ddeialog, y sefyllfaoedd a’r cymeriadau on point! Mae’r stori’n darllen yn naturiol iawn – dim fel oedolyn yn trio ’sgwennu’n cŵl neu’n ceisio bod down with the kids.


Cafodd y rhamant slow burner rhwng Efa a Cai ei gyflwyno’n fedrus ac roedd yn hollol gredadwy- fel y ffordd mae hi’n gwirioni a chael gwefr jest o gyffwrdd blaen bys ag ef. Neu’r awkward moment wrth iddyn nhw “ffarwelio’n drwsgl” ar ôl bod am ‘wâc’ – yr hen sefyllfa to go in for the kiss or not? – ’da ni gyd wedi bod yna! Darnau fel hyn oedd yn mynd a fi’n syth yn ôl i fod yn bymtheg oed eto!


Roedd ‘na ddarnau o’r llyfr fyddai’n apelio at ddarllenwyr hŷn hefyd - daeth yr atgofion i gyd yn ôl ym mhennod y ffeit fawr yn y coridor. Gwenais wrth ddarllen am Mr Lewelyn druan yn “difaru iddo beidio ymddeol y llynedd,” neu’r pennaeth yn syllu’n “hiraethus drwy’r ffenestr.” (know the feeling!) Roedd y penodau yn yr hen ysgol gynradd gaeedig yn deimladwy iawn ac yn adlewyrchiad o’r tristwch ym mywyd Efa ar y pryd a’r hiraeth am ddyddiau gwell. Gwyddwn o brofiad nad oes does dim byd mwy digalon na ysgol yn cau; y dosbarthiadau gwag heb fwrlwm a sŵn plant...


Text screenshots yn siwr o apelio

Mae Efa druan yn cael hard time gan ei “ffrind” Gwen, sy’n bell o fod yn ffrind mewn gwirionedd. Hen sguthan o hogan ydi hi a bydd hon yn gymeriad y bydd sawl un ohonom yn ei gofio neu adnabod. Y person ’na sy’n smalio bod yn ffrind ond ’da chi’n gwybod nad ydynt yn gwneud daioni i chi. Gwyddai Efa hyn yn iawn ond fod yr angen am gwmni’n gryfach na bod ar ei phen ei hun. Mewn ffordd, ymdebyga Gwen i dyfiant y cancr – rhywbeth drwg oedd angen ei dorri ymaith… Os ydach chi am glywed hanes y super-b***ch yn cael ei haeddiant, rhaid i chi ddarllen y llyfr bydd!


Yn ôl Heiddwen Tomos, “neges y stori yw bod cyfnodau ym mywydau pawb yn gallu bod yn anodd, ond daw eto haul ar fryn.” Erbyn y diwedd, mae gan Efa support network o bobl i’w helpu i wynebu’r heriau a dwi’n falch fod na rywfaint o obaith yn y pen draw. Efallai fod ’na le i ail-ymweld ag Efa mewn blynyddoedd i ddod a gweld lle bydd hi’n mynd nesaf.


Yn wahanol i rai straeon tebyg yn y genre, nid dyddiadur a geir yma ac felly cawn ddarlun ehangach, mwy amrywiol na safbwynt Efa’n unig – roedd hi’n ddiddorol edrych ar berthynas Cai a’i fam hefyd. Mae’r dŵdls yn ychwanegu rhywbeth hefyd, er, yn bersonol dwi’n meddwl fasa’r llyfr wedi gallu gwneud efo mwy.


Ceir yma’r cynhwysion i gyd ar gyfer stori berffaith i’r arddegau. Mae ’na ddigon o dristwch, emosiwn, anwyldeb a thynerwch i greu cymeriadau rydan ni’n malio amdanyn nhw, ac wrth gyfuno hyn â hiwmor, text message screenshots a sefyllfaoedd credadwy, mae’r awdur wedi llwyddo i greu campwaith.


Os ydach chi rhwng 11-14, mynnwch gopi reit handi a darllenwch o ‘da chi. Ac os ydach chi o unrhyw oedran dros 14, yr un yw’r cyngor!



Ôl nodyn –


Hollol random - am flynyddoedd ron i’n meddwl mod i’n weird am gario sachets halen yn fy waled, ond ar ôl darllen am Cai a’i fêt yn smyglo halen i’r ‘ysgol iach’, dwi’n teimlo’n well nad fi yw’r unig un sy’n licio sprincl o’r good stuff ar fy sglods!


I’ve got to confess, when I first saw the cover (which is very effective btw) and the strapline about chemotherapy, I wasn't sure if this was the book for me right now. After feeling down with all this lockdown and coronavirus business, I didn't want to read something that would make me feel worse. Well – how wrong was I!? I can see now why they say ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover,’ and I’m glad I have it a whirl. It’s interesting to note that this book is aimed at the 11-14 age group, but, as a man quite a bit older than the target audience, surprisingly I really enjoyed it. So, don’t make the mistake of thinking that this book is just for teenage girls.



Efa, the book’s protagonist, is a schoolgirl who has to face the usual teenage challenges such as friends (or lack thereof), embarrassing fathers, bullies, teachers, and of course... the first love. On top of the usual problems, her mother is about to give birth and is suffering with breast cancer at the same time. Wow- that’s a lot of s**t for one person to have to deal with! Although there are some ‘deep’ themes here, humour is peppered throughout and as a result we get a book that’s easy to read – the jokes work well at balancing out the sad bits. The book is full of funny little bits that made me smile.


The author is a secondary teacher, and although I already knew this, I thought it was very evident in the writing. 'Write what you know’ they say. Well, this author knows her audience. The characters, dialogue and situations are on point! The story flows naturally and feels genuine- not like when you sometimes get an adult trying to be cool or ‘down with the kids.’


The slow burning love story between Efa and Cai was skillfully presented and was believable- the thrill she gets just from touching his finger or their awkward goodbye encounter after their walk. It’s the classic to go in for the kiss or not? situation – we’ve all been there! Bits like this instantly took me back to being fifteen years old again!



Parts of the book I think would certainly appeal to older readers - all the memories came flooding back during the epic corridor fight chapter. As a former teacher, I smiled to myself as I read about poor Mr Llewelyn, the teacher who had to break up the fight as he "regretted not retiring sooner.” I also liked the bit where the headteacher stares longingly out of the window – I know that feeling! The bits in the old closed-down primary school were hauntingly poignant and perhaps a reflection of Efa’s sadness and longing for halcyon days gone by. I know only too well that there is nothing sadder than a school closing down; the empty classes and the quiet and still hallways... It may not have been absolutely necessary to include all those little asides, but I’m glad they were there.


Poor Efa gets a hard time from her so-called ‘friend’ Gwen, who is actually far from it. What a nasty piece of work she is and she’s a character that unfortunately all too many of us can relate to. She’s that person in our lives who pretends to be your friend, but deep down you know they’re not good for you. Efa knows this, but having her around is better than being on her own. I found Gwen very similar to a cancerous growth herself – something that needed to be cut out and discarded. If you want to find out how the super-b***h gets her comeuppance, you’ll have to read the book!


Text screenshots

According to Heiddwen Tomos, the message from the story is that yes, life can get you down at times, but the sun will come out eventually. By the end, Efa has a support network of people to help her face life’s challenges and I'm glad there’s some hope at the end – much needed, I think. There may even be an opportunity to re-visit Efa in the future to find out where life takes her…

Unlike some similar stories in the genre, this is not a diary and so we get a bigger, more diverse picture than just Efa’s perspective – it was interesting to explore a little of Cai’s relationship with his mother. The doodles did help I think, although it could probably have done with some more.


We have here all the key ingredients for a good teenage work of fiction There’s enough emotion and tugging on the heartstrings to create characters we actually care about, but combined with humour, text screenshots and an accurate portrayal of teenage life, I think the author’s created a masterpiece. A book you’ll want to read.


If you’re aged between 11-14, grab a copy and read it! If you’re older than 14, then the advice is the same!


P.S.

Completely random but - for years I thought I was odd for carrying salt sachets in my wallet, but after reading about Cai and his mate smuggling in salt into the 'Healthy Schools’ canteen as if it were drugs, I feel better that I'm not the only one who will go to such measures for a sprinkle of the good stuff on my chips!


Gwasg/publisher: Y Lolfa

Rhyddhawyd/released: 2020

Pris: £5.99


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