10 June, 2013

Book Review: Monica Bloom

From Goodreads: Matt Sherman is in his final year of school. And he's ready to move onto bigger and better things. But from the moment he hears her voice over the fence, Matt knows he has to meet his neighbours' cousin, Monica Bloom. She's just flown in from Dublin ready for the start of school, but not at all ready, it turns out, for what the year holds.

Things slip out of control when Matt's dad is embroiled in a scandal at work that makes news headlines. Meanwhile, Monica Bloom finds trouble of her own, and Matt finds that he can't stop thinking about her.

Thoughts: Another quality read from Nick Earls.I don't know exactly what it is about Earls that makes him able to take me back to when I was a teenager and dealing with all the (as far you are concerned)life and death matters of that age. I read his young adult fiction and think "Oh God, yes, I remember those first torturous conversations with the boy I liked!"
 Where Earls shone in this book though was his handling of the way Matt reacted to what was happening with his dad. He was aware of it, knew very well that it had long term consequences, but his focus was still on Monica Bloom. I know as a teen whenever there was upheaval in our family, I was aware of it, but it was out of my control - very little I did or could do would change it. In the end, you rode it out, maybe tried to be a little more helpful, a little more considerate, but in the end it was still you and your issues that dominated your time and thoughts. I thought Earls portrayed this beautifully. As always his teen characters are realistic, believable and you just want to help them! Me personally, I wanted to take Monica Bloom home and look after her.
This book also gave me a reminder of how different life is now. While never stated, the music mentioned in the book suggests late 70's early 80's. A time when the worst thing smuggled into a high school disco was alcohol. No iphones, no internet, no Facebook. Harder in many ways, but a lot simpler in others. 

Challenges:  Aussie Author