Now that I'm in the habit of reading more, I'm trying to be more mindful of what I read - like trying to read more books by Australian authors. When I was looking for some aussie young adult fiction to start on I came across the short list for the Inky Awards. I'm planning to read all of them, and maybe review some here on the blog - starting with Laurinda by Alice Pung.
I loved this book! Lucy Lam is the daughter of refugees who wins a scholarship to a flash, all girls school. The book takes us through Lucy's first year at her new school, as told through Lucy's letters to a friend. I thought the writing was brilliant. It was funny and fast paced and powerful and touching - like this quote, which I just love (and I will never use the word tacky again!):
Brodie would have called the things in our home “tacky”, the term used by wealthy people to describe the most beautiful things poor people could afford.
The quote on the cover there from John Marsden uses the word 'horrifying' and that is so spot on (as if I would disagree with John Marsden!) - some of the young women (and the older ones!) in this were so awful that the only thing worse was the fact they didn't seem to realise how awful they were! I actually gasped a little "oooh no - they didn't! They wouldn't!" more than once - and the fact that the "girls will be girls" (or whatever variation) attitude about pranks (let's face it - all out bullying) is a real thing in the world totally gives me the creeps!
Anyway, I gave this 5 stars (out of 5) and really hope we'll see more fiction from Alice Pung soon!