Pages: 365, paperback
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Genre: Young Adult; contemporary
During a semester in the wilderness, sixteen-year-old Sib expects the tough outdoor education program and the horrors of dorm life, but friendship drama and an unexpected romance with popular Ben Capaldi? That will take some navigating.This is the kind of book pre-teen me would have read to learn about love, friendships, life, and sex. I find it to be just as important as Judy Blume's books, when it comes to the frightening world of growing up.
New girl Lou has zero interest in fitting in, or joining in. Still reeling from a loss that occurred almost a year ago, she just wants to be left alone. But as she witnesses a betrayal unfolding around Sib and her best friend Holly, Lou can't help but be drawn back into the land of the living.
Fans of Melina Marchetta, Rainbow Rowell, and E. Lockhart will adore this endearing and poignant story of first love, true friendship, and going a little bit wild. (Taken from Goodreads)
This is about toxic relationships, both between lovers and friends. Sib's best friend, Holly, is a toxic person, who encourages Sib to do things that she isn't at all comfortable with, like have sex with the most popular boy at school. She picks away at Sib's insecurities until she's fully manipulating Sib, living the life she wished she could have had.
Then there is Lou, who is dealing with her own sort of grief. Her boyfriend has died, and she's moved to a new school, and is on this wildlife experience thing the school has.
My heart is its own fierce country where nothing else is welcome." pg 8.She's stuck in her shell, forced to bunk with Sib and Holly. Obviously Holly is none too pleased with Lou's presence, but a heartwarming relationship slowly develops between Lou and Sib.
There's a lot of emotional stuff here. I cried and I laughed.
It's a great Aussie coming of age story for girls.
Here's a quote I loved: