Terrific new Australian young adult fiction.
There’s not much 16-year-old Clancy likes about the small Queensland town she lives in. She thinks of herself and her family as the town freaks and she has a hopeless crush on Sasha, the hot girlfriend of a local bogan.
At 16, even her main pleasure – the local nature club – is just for nerds and loners like herself. She keeps a tight hold on the secret that she’s gay, fearing the reaction from family and the town if anyone knew.
But there are glimmers of hope: a new girl in town seems friendly and Sasha finally notices she’s alive.
Everything becomes much more complicated when her father is involved in a fatal accident that kills two local teenagers, and locals become abusive. Clancy is left to try to negotiate her way through friendship, family and love, while having no idea what to do next or how she should act.
This is a terrific YA book with lots of appeal. Clancy is a completely believeable character, a smart, confused, tomboyish teenager who’s struggling to find her identity. The writing is strong, the dialogue rings true and the plot ticks along nicely. An excellent read with plenty of humor, and never too angsty or overwrought.
Book published in December, 2015
This review first appeared in the Herald Sun’s Weekend magazine