ARC Review: The Agony of Bun O’Keefe


Title: The Agony of Bun O’Keefe

Author: Heather Smith

Genre & Age Group: Historical fiction, young adult

Goodreads Synopsis:

Set in 1980s Newfoundland, The Agony of Bun O’Keefe is the story of a 14-year-old girl who runs away to the city and is taken in by a street musician who lives with an eclectic cast of characters: a pot smoking dishwasher with culinary dreams; a drag queen with a tragic past; a Catholic school girl desperately trying to reinvent herself; and a man who Bun is told to avoid at all cost.

Source: Thanks so much to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley!

How I Found Out About It: Netgalley


Upon first finding The Agony of Bun O’ Keefe on Netgalley, I knew I was in for a quirky, fun read. I love reading about the 1980’s and finding out how it was like to live back then, and plus, I love celebrating my country by reading Canadian books. Put the two together, and here is the awesome book you get!

This book totally met those expectations of a vibrant, quirky read. I LOVED the protagonist, and even though this book had a lacklustre plot, I still felt gripped to it.

The Agony of Bun O’ Keefe, as you would likely guess, is about a young girl named Bun. She feels mistreated at home, so she runs away and decides to live with a street musician she meets and his other friends and family members. For the first time in a while, she feels as if she belongs. But do her parents care enough to come searching for her?

I loved Bun. LOVED her! She was so naïve and innocent, and right from the first page, I found myself loving her quirks and relatability (not that that’s a word…)– I could truly relate to every second thing she said. I feel like if I got the chance to meet Bun in real life, we would make great friends.👌

Even though it may have been a tad immature for Bun to run away from home on impulse, her adaptability to new situations is simply amazing. She was taken in by such a welcoming, jolly crowd, and it was a blast to read about!

The plot of this book, as I said before, was lacking, to say the least. For a book like this one, that’s actually not such a bad thing as the maximum spotlight is put on the strong, interesting, fun characters and their development by the end of the story.

In conclusion, I absolutely adored The Agony of Bun O’ Keefe, although there were some very minor flaws. The characters were some of the most developed ones that I’ve read about in such a long time, especially the main character, Bun. For those wanting to get their hands on a quirky novel taking place in the 1980’s, mark your calendars for September 5th, as that is when this beauty can enter your hands!


(4.25 Stars)

*I received a digital ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*


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