This stunning debut novel is about first love, friendship, surviving when your world is falling apart,and staying true to yourself at any cost, even when everything is cracked and you feel broken and alone.
Clover Jones is fifteen years old. She’s a former Steiner student with great potential, intelligence and artistic talent. She finds school boring. She’s a rebel, fighting against everything and everyone in her search to escape from her mother’s ‘flipside of reality.’ She worries about no food in the fridge, the threat of nuclear bombs, ice caps melting, and the end of the world amongst countless other things, including the fact that she doesn’t know where or who her dad is.
Her mum is a ‘walking dictionary’, a committed environmentalist, disorganised and chaotic. She doesn’t allow Facebook, mobile phones or television. Due to these technological restrictions, Clover’s life is a shambles. At school she’s called a freak. Even her best friend and childhood companion Alison, newly returned from Canberra, ignores her.
Keek is a total individual. His parents don’t get on so he spends a lot of time riding around on his bike. It’s this bike that draws Clover and Keek closer together when he offers to teach her to ride. He opens up to Clover; shows her sides to himself that no one else sees. She in return, is able to be herself with him.
Clever and sharp prose draws the reader into this journey through adolescence. Themes that confront young people today shape and colour the novel with skill and flair. The characters are outstanding and the pages are turned quickly for everything about this writing is new. I found this novel profoundly thought-provoking. It could well be my favourite novel of the year.
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis
Author: Clare Strahan
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Publication Date: May 2014 $15.99RRP
Type: Young Adult Fiction