Anyway, have a few more tiny, tasty reviews (at 100 words or less each!) below:
Loser! Pina Grieco-Tiso
Published by Insight Publications, 2006
Angus thinks his life sucks - his parents are normal (even cool) and happily married. Despite being a nice, smart kid and a talented footballer, he calls himself a ‘loser’ and goes out of way to hang around with a bad crowd, then is left to deal with the consequences. It took a long time for Loser! to build up, and then I found the climax to be disappointing and overshadowed by an obvious moral message. However, Grieco-Tiso captures an accurate teen voice in Angus, and I later discovered that Loser! comes from an educational publisher, explaining a few things.
In Ecstasy - Kate McCaffrey
Published by Fremantle Press, 2008
Sophie and Mia, childhood best friends have always done everything together - including trying ecstasy for the first time at a party. From there, the two go down different paths – Mia descends on a downwards spiral of drinking and drug-taking, while Sophie chooses to ‘say no’ and pursue a a meaningful relationship with an ex-boyfriend. Whilst the writing is very strong and has on obvious anti-drug message, I did feel that In Ecstasy was slightly too black and white with its moral message and felt like it was written by an adult. I felt Bronwyn Donaghy’s Anna’s Story better served the same purpose.
Always Mackenzie - Kate Constable
Published by Allen & Unwin, 2008
This is the first book I’ve read from the Girlfriend Fiction series and was very pleasantly surprised. After a bonding, clique-breaking exercise on school camp, studious booklover Jess Martinic (known as Jem) strikes up an unlikely friendship with Mackenzie, who is in the elite popular group and an all-round golden girl. What I expected to be a fairly typical novel about friendship and high school cliques was actually kind of amazing –Always Mackenzie is charming, engaging and honest. I was also struck by its sensitively in handling a relatively under-addressed topic in girls YA. It’s definitely encouraged me to try more in the Girlfriend collection.