20 April, 2014

Book Review: Wildlife

From Goodreads: Life? It’s simple: be true to yourself.
The tricky part is finding out exactly who you are…

In the holidays before the dreaded term at Crowthorne Grammar’s outdoor education camp two things out of the ordinary happened.
A picture of me was plastered all over a twenty-metre billboard.
And I kissed Ben Capaldi.

Boarding for a term in the wilderness, sixteen-year-old Sibylla expects the gruesome outdoor education program – but friendship complications, and love that goes wrong? They’re extra-curricula.
Enter Lou from Six Impossible Things – the reluctant new girl for this term in the great outdoors. Fragile behind an implacable mask, she is grieving a death that occurred almost a year ago. Despite herself, Lou becomes intrigued by the unfolding drama between her housemates Sibylla and Holly, and has to decide whether to end her self-imposed detachment and join the fray.
And as Sibylla confronts a tangle of betrayal, she needs to renegotiate everything she thought she knew about surviving in the wild.
A story about first love, friendship and NOT fitting in.

Thoughts: This is the first book I've read from the CBCA Older Readers shortlist for 2014 and what a wonderful way to start! Fiona Wood has written a great book about realising what true friendship is, the importance of being yourself and the trials of being a teenager. And she has done it with characters who are believable and identifiable. I think to appeal to the older readers or young adult audience you need to give them characters and stories they can see themselves in. I'm fairly sure just about everyone has known a Holly or a Ben, can pick out the Michael in their year level.
Wildlife is described as a companion book to Six Impossible Things which I suppose means you don't have to have read Six Impossible Things to understand Wildlife. It's true, I haven't read Six but I certainly want to now, especially since I assume it gives you more of Lou's story. I hope there is more in this series, I think it has a lot of places to go and I really would like to know how the characters continue.