13 June 2009

Something More

by Mo Johnson

Allen and Unwin. Young Adult, Australian. Paperback rrp $16.95

Something More is about finding a place to belong. It is about the challenges Isla McBay faces at a new school, in a new country (Australia) and even within her own family.

Isla is homesick for the life she left behind in Glasgow, Scotland. It’s hard not to look back to where her best friend and (now ex) boyfriend remain. She’s still in touch with Fiona but she has cut all ties with Brian, afraid that even his friendship will gradually fade away.

At home she continues to fight with her younger sister, Terry. But the balance shifts and Terry needs her support. Sisters belong together. Don’t they? New people in her life are gradually filling the spaces – gorgeous Sam, irritating Jack and spiteful Molly. There are rivalries and romance, friendships and fights. And many embarrassing moments for Isla.

But sometimes you have to look at things differently to understand. It is only when Isla sees her face repeated in the frames of Jack’s photography assignment that she views herself clearly. She sees something more.

Each chapter is prefaced by the feisty humorous wisdom of Gran McGonnigle. Even though Gran is miles away in Glasgow, her words keep Isla’s life in perspective with advice for every occasion. Isla dreads the pool party because she cannot swim but Gran has something to say about that: ‘They say your life flashes before your eyes when you drown, Isla, so if you don’t want to die bored, learn to swim.’

Something More is the eleventh book in the popular Girlfriend Fiction series which showcases some of Australia’s best Young Adult fiction authors. It is an excellent choice for teenage girls.


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