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A wonderful debut novel that captures the essence of real, messy teenage lives: of action and consequence, of poor choices and fragile friendships, of standing up for what is right, and the attempt to make sense of a world when everything feels like it's falling apart.At fifteen, Clover is finding the going tougher than she expected. Her life is close to being derailed onA wonderful debut novel that captures the essence of real, messy teenage lives: of action and consequence, of poor choices and fragile friendships, of standing up for what is right, and the attempt to make sense of a world when everything feels like it's falling apart.At fifteen, Clover is finding the going tougher than she expected. Her life is close to being derailed on the rocky terrain of family, friendship, first love, acts of defiance and a planet on the brink of environmental disaster. So when Keek breaks his promise to her, and school sucks, and her mother is impossible, and her beloved old dog is dying, and her dad is in the wind, and the girls at school are awful and the footy-boys are bullies and she's arrested for vandalism - well, what else can she be but a little bit broken? Can Clover pull herself together - or will she spiral further out of control?When life feels like it's fracturing, how do you find a way to feel whole?...

Title : Cracked
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781743316030
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 308 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Cracked Reviews

  • Cait (Paper Fury)
    2019-04-23 14:49

    I’ve got a confession! I didn’t actuallyexpectto like this book. I won it from Allen & Unwin (thank you!) with a kind of condition of “please review this book”…aaaand, honestly? It didn’t look like a book I’d adore. BUT! While I have a few crabby comments to make, I’m giving it 4-stars because I totally enjoyed it. Characters?These are the BEST part of this book! When I say “I love well-written main characters and secondary characters”? THIS book shows how it should be done! ‘Scuse me, I must grin garishly.Clover is our narrator, who starts the book at 15 and ends 17.To put it plainly: she’s a freak. She doesn’t fit in evvvver. Never heard THAT one before, right? Despite how cliché it appears on the outside, it’s terrifically written. Plus, since Clover is Aussie, it was awesomely good to hear about Aussie freaks (as opposed to American freaks, or whatnot). Also, her mother is into Steiner things.I liked that it talked about something so “different” as Steiner…but I was annoyed at how it didn’t explain things.I personally know a lot about Steiner methods because I have family who talk about it a lot. But that’s not common! (I think?) So explanations wouldn’t have gone amiss. But wait! Let me talk about Keek!I ship him and Clover SO STINKIN’ HARD it’s exhausting me. And they don’t even “like each other in that way”…pfft. Please. You two are adorable, just get together already.So? Downsides?I really hate to say this: but I was freaking bored. I WAS. While the characters are enough to sway me into raving about this book, the plot…it meanders. It flops. It incorporates lots of little scenes that just about sent me napping.I liked this book, but let’s just say, I’m not fangirling wildly. I would have liked to see more meaningful plot about these teens who are finding their way in life. From 80% onwards it’s absolutely terrific. Also: criminal stuff happens, which was hugely interesting to read about.Definitely an Aussie author to watch out for!

  • Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
    2019-04-14 18:33

    This is Aussie realism. From the teen interactions, cliques, and discovering your place in the world. This could have been my neighbourhood from when I was a teen two decades ago. Felt it lacked direction a little though, I would have loved the storyline to have built towards something more monumental, but enjoyed it regardless.ReviewCracked was a brilliant take on living life as an Australian teen, but teens all around the world can relate to the plight of Clover, and losing her way while finding her own feet. I think we've all felt like the odd one out at some point in our lives, popularity, sex, background, religion or even personal choices in how we express ourselves. But Clover takes it all in her stride. She stands up for herself and delivers with conviction. I loved her character, she's a gentle soul who's feisty and even through making a few wrong turns, she's intelligent. Together with Keek, the two just clicked. There wasn't any instant love, or romance, just a beautiful friendship of support and, on occasion, vandalism. The only downside is that it felt as thought it needed to build towards a more monumental event. Regardless, the storyline flowed beautifully. I really enjoyed Clover's quiet moments of reflection. She wasn't an overly complex character, but she's real. Throughout our suburbs, you'll find a Clover. She's the quiet girl who carries the world on her shoulders until the weight becomes too much. She represents the different and the quirky and delivers one of the most positive messages in young adult. Live for yourself.

  • Stephanie Holt
    2019-04-20 20:44

    If only books got rated by the amount of time I should have spent sleeping that I spent with the light on, or the volume of sniffly tears they prompted, or the number of stupid things they made me say to my husband ("Exactly how did it FORCE you to stay awake half the night?") ...I don't read much YA fiction, and I started this one out of respect for the author (a sometime colleague and onetime student). But I loved it, and the more I think about it, the more I find to admire. The characters are beautifully written, lovingly described with an observant eye and a droll voice. And the way they're shown moving into and out of each other's lives is both delicate and uncompromising. Sometimes it's a drift, sometimes a stumble, sometimes a calculated risk. But it always felt real. The surface stereotypes - jocks, mean girls, nerds, outcasts - never settle into one dimension, but do their necessary work of creating a world each has to negotiate. And I adored that this was such an Australian book. Such a Melbourne book. Its "Fernwood" could be any number of fringe suburbs, with its footy oval and skate park and IGA and leftover bits of bush, and the city's enchantments a seductive train ride away.This is also a teen-eyed, teen-centric world that has real adults in it. Not just the heroic handful - a kindly old Greek neighbour, a contrasting pair of charismatic art teachers - but families each embarrassing in their own way. We see these kids misunderstand and underestimate those who care for them, even as we feel for each slight and wound suffered at adult hands.There's a lot of not getting what you want for these kids. Not the kind that gets resolved in a big finale, or played for cheap drama, or trumpeted as a life lesson, but the kind that slowly accumulates and just as slowly fades, as the work of growing up and finding love - recognising it, understanding it, acknowledging it - continues. That's what makes the title such a resonant metaphor. Everything's cracked, but it's the cracks that let the light in. From broken families, to schoolyard cliques, to fracking, the challenge emerges. Ultimately, this is a story about working out what's worth fighting for.

  • Amanda
    2019-04-03 14:37

    Cracked by Clare Strahan is the sort of book I knew I will love from the very first sentence, it has that something that only Aussie YA contemporary novels have.Clover Jones is fifteen and angry – I love her. At age eleven she learnt about nuclear bombs in school and this, along with everything else wrong with the world, caused a crack inside her. Her mother is alternative and doesn’t believe in tv, or facebook, or capitalism, and Clover is often embarrassed by her. She’s never known her father, her former best friend moved away only to return years later but they’re no longer friends.Clover has known Philip McKenzie, aka Keek, since primary school, and when they both get sent to the principal’s office, they strike up a new friendship. Keek rides his BMX and Clover gets into graffiti as she’s already a talented artist. I was completely absorbed by their friendship, and loved that they both got support out of the relationship.The parents are very much present in this story which makes a change from a lot of YA novels. They definitely didn't know everything their kids were up to, which to me is realistic, but they were involved in their lives. The family dynamics explored were complex and I particularly loved the focus on the mother-daughter relationship between Clover and Penny.Often in fiction real-life consequences are ignored or glossed over but that’s not the case here, both Clover and Keek have to deal with the repercussions of their actions - this didn’t feel preachy or like a warning to teens, just realistic and honest.Cracked is a wonderful addition to Australian YA fiction, highlighting the bonds between family and friends, and focusing on a teen who cares very much about the people and world around her.Thank you to the lovely people at Allen & Unwin for my review copy.

  • Kate
    2019-03-24 18:31

    Clover hasn’t had the most conventional upbringing. Raised by a single mother who the kids at school consider to be odd is not easy. Her mother is ideologically opposed to Facebook and her many eccentricities make it hard for Clover to relate to the kids at school. There’s also the small little fact that Clover has no idea who her father is.When Clover and Keek bond over useless teachers and unreasonable parents, it is the start of a friendship Clover never even knew she needed. Keek introduces Clover to a very different side of life she didn’t know existed and is her gateway into an artistic outlet which is both therapeutic as well as criminal…From the first page I loved Clover. She’s the kind of angry and confused character who doesn’t even realize how mad she is. At the kids at school, at her mother, but mostly at herself. And one of the best things about this book is how well Clover is written. She’s realistic. Her internal rage is palpable and adds to her three dimensionality. She’s an artist who poses the question about what makes art, art. Her new-found interest in street art is an interesting one considering this particular form of self-expression may be considered to be vandalism to some but something a lot more creative to others. Clover is also wonderfully ordinary. She’s not going to save the world – but if she tries hard enough she just might be able to save her little corner in it. She makes bad decisions (why anyone in this day and age would take up smoking is a little beyond me) but ultimately she has to take responsibility for her actions. She’s a character I could believe in because she is relatable.The relationships in this novel are another highlight. Clover is an outsider in school and is fairly intolerant of her classmates. From her former best friend Allison to new mate Keeks, we get an insight to why Clover is how she is. The role of the parents are interesting – both Keek’s interactions with his mother and father and Clover’s relationship with her mum. I read somewhere that the hardest part about YA fiction is trying to find a way to get rid of the parents but in this book they are very much around – even Clover’s non present father – and it works so well. Clover and Keek’s friendship is a lot of fun. They have their problems and there’s a lot of drama surrounding them but somehow it just works.Cracked is a realistic and relatable novel about growing up. The characters are real and written with humour and a fair dose of reality. This is a book I would recommend to any fan of distinctively Australian young adult fiction which is both meaningful and well-written.Thanks to Allen & Unwin for the review copy.

  • Aussie Owned and Read Owned and Read
    2019-03-30 21:50

    I’ve got a confession! I didn’t actually expect to like this book. BUT! While I have a few crabby comments to make, I’m giving it 4-stars because I totally enjoyed it.Characters? These are the BEST part of this book! When I say “I love well-written main characters and secondary characters”? THIS book shows how it should be done! ‘Scuse me, I must grin garishly. Clover is our narrator, who starts the book at 15 and ends 17. To put it plainly: she’s a freak. She doesn’t fit in evvvver. (Never heard THAT one before, right?) Despite how cliché it appears on the outside, it’s terrifically written. Plus, since Clover is Aussie, it was awesomely good to hear about Aussie freaks (as opposed to American freaks, or whatnot). Also, her mother is into Steiner things. I liked that it talked about something so “different” as Steiner…but I was annoyed at how it didn’t explain things. I personally know a lot about Steiner methods because I have family who talk about it a lot. But that’s not common! (I think?) So explanations wouldn’t have gone amiss. (And if YOU want to know more about Steiner and Waldorf education systems…Wikipedia is your friend.)But wait! Let me talk about Keek! I ship him and Clover SO STINKIN’ HARD it’s exhausting me. And they don’t even “like each other in that way”…pfft. Please. You two are adorable, just get together already. descriptionSo? Downsides? I really hate to say this: but I was bored. I WAS. While the characters are enough to sway me into raving about this book, the plot…it meanders. It flops. It incorporates lots of little scenes that just about sent me napping.I liked this book, but let’s just say, I’m not fangirling wildly. I would have liked to see more meaningful plot about these teens who are finding their way in life. From 80% onwards it’s absolutely terrific. Also: criminal stuff happens, which was hugely interesting to read about. Definitely an Aussie author to watch out for!To see review with gifs and more, visit the blog: http://aussieownedandread.com/2014/05...

  • Helen Stower
    2019-04-04 14:51

    A story that encapsulates what is like to be fifteen. In this coming of age novel, we meet Clover. She is talented, passionate and at risk of ‘cracking’. The plot of this novel follows Clover as she pushes everyone and everything, including herself, to the limit. She is passionate about the environment and decides to raise awareness about the loss of a local wildlife corridor through graffiti. In order to get her message across, she needs the help of her friend Keek and she draws him into her escapades. However, what some people deem art, others deem vandalism and she soon she and Keek are facing the consequences of being on the wrong side of the law. She also experiments with truancy, parties, smoking, drinking, and drugs and finds herself in trouble on a number of levels.Throughout the story, Clover is also working out people - who are those she can trust, who are true and loyal friends, how do families function and what relationships are important? As a reader, you worry about her when she is hanging out with the cool girls, when she is flirting with one of the footy-boys who is after more than kissing and when she lies to her loyal and loving mother. This book is a really good read, full of genuine characters and a protagonist who I could really identify with. I highly recommend it to students in Year 9 & 10.

  • Jan
    2019-04-03 16:54

    This book is very good at drawing characters and building the relationships between them. Clover Jones is the central character, a year 10 girl in an Australian school. The tone is set from the opening lines: "I cracked when I was eleven, but it didn't show. People are so naturally strange, it's hard to tell if they're broken or not..." Clover lives with her mother, an artist who believes in a Steiner education but can't afford it. She won't let Clover have a mobile or a television or sign up to Facebook. So she's outside the norm and most of the book deals with her friendships, her family and her life at school Particularly important to this is her growing friendship with Philip, or Keek as he is to his friends, who has a difficult life of his own and is also a bit of an outsider. She is faced with more than a few choices when she is granted a partial admittance to the cool set: the pretty girls, the sports jocks and the parties..Strahan is an acute observer of the trials and nuances of teenage social circles and much of what she described rang true. She also has some beautiful turns of phrase. It is not a big-action plot but Clover and Keek do get into some scrapes and they certainly make some mistakes and learn a few things about themselves and others. A good read that many teens who enjoy realistic stories will enjoy.

  • Jaz
    2019-04-15 19:41

    Firstly, thanks to Allen & Unwin Australia for this review copy.Review originally posted at Fiction in Fiction in Fiction“I cracked when I was eleven, but it didn’t show.” It has been so long since I’ve read an Aussie YA book – not just one by an Aussie author but one actually set in Australia. Cracked was a very refreshing and quick read about a teenager trying to fit in high school and Strahan gives it the perfect touch that makes it distinctly Australian. Clover’s character was an interesting one. At times I didn’t always think her thoughts were plausible for a 15-year-old (such as musings about black stuff coming off her soul) but she’s written in a very relatable way. Her mother’s eccentricities leave Clover to be considered an outcast in school. She’s like that disruptive kid in high school who got kicked out of class often which a lot of people found annoying. I never understood these people. Now, I think I do. Clover’s home life and struggles spark what looks like a rebellious nature to outsiders, but really, it’s her way of coping with everything that life’s throwing at her. She’s affected by issues of climate change, of oppression and she turns to art to express herself. Not always in the right way though. I thought Strahan did a really good job portraying the naiveties of a 15 year old in that sense – Clover thinks that what she does is right but doesn’t consider the consequences, and as teenagers I think that’s ok because they’re just beginning to face realities of the world. It’s overwhelming, it’s shocking and we lash out in different ways. I liked how the secondary characters showed Australian culture. From Ms. Yamouni, to Mrs. T, to Trung I appreciated the multiculturalism because we are a very diverse society. So I guess I was sort of shocked when racism had a part in this. The way the students first react to Ms. Yamouni the new art teacher, or Trung a student who is obviously born and bred Aussie despite his first name. In this day and age, racism shouldn’t be an issue in schools. Emphasis on schools. When I attended high school I never had issues with racism. Everyone in my school was a mix of different backgrounds – even my teachers, the majority of which were Greek or Italian. Hence, why I would have assumed it was a given that the students and teachers would come from different ethnic backgrounds in Cracked. Still, it’s good this is dealt with well. Ms. Yamouni was definitely my favourite secondary character in this, she’s accepting, understanding and teaches everybody about tolerance. “You’d better learn some respect. I won’t have racism in this classroom.” The romance was so adorbs. Venturing into first love, Clover has absolutely no idea about her feelings for Rob or Keek and it was cute watching her stumble her way through and grow into her feelings. I absolutely loved Keek. He was a constant for Clover throughout the book despite dealing with his own problems. Poor kid was going through so much and yet he still watches over Clover and accompanies her on some of her crazier adventures. I absolutely LOVED the way art was used here. Strahan gives everyone a form of expression – Keek with his riding, Clover’s mum with her Steiner thing – and Clover’s is art. Colours are so well detailed here and I got a few art lessons out of it. It was fascinating how Strahan phrased how an artist thinks and shows themselves through a medium. I loved the way Clover got lost in her own world because I got lost with her. “Moving the blue there’s a sense of expanding space, like a dark ocean or an evening sky. Or even what’s behind the sky – the swirling cosmos that has no edges, no end.” Strahan’s writing style is sophisticated but also incorporates Aussie slang because that’s how we talk. Her writing flows well and I couldn’t tell this was a debut which is always a good sign. I did learn a few words here (not sure they’re entirely appropriate lol) but at times thought the profanity was a bit much. Either way, very well written, especially the descriptions. Perfect descriptions of Aussie landscapes! I’m gonna give massive two thumbs up to Strahan for a very, very particular reason. The word ‘slut’ was used here. As soon as I saw it, I froze. Slut shaming has been a massive talked about topic in YA and I was cringing, thinking “oh please no don’t slut shame I can’t read this if you slut shame”. STRAHAN DOESN’T SLUT SHAME. Biggest hugs to her for that. Instead, the word is discussed, the meaning and connotations associated with it drawn out and no real labelling is made. This really stood out for me in the book because far out the amount of books I’ve read that just casually chuck the word ‘slut’ out there and label people, it’s infuriating. You guys, you have no idea how impressed I was by this. “I’m not convinced. Why does somebody suddenly become a ‘slut’?” A great debut that encompasses the many qualms of our teenage years, written in an idyllic Australian style with lovely descriptions and an adorable romance, this book accurately portrays the cracks we all have in ourselves. “Make beauty from pain there’s a kind of joy in that; and maybe that’s what art is for?”

  • Kirrily Ireland
    2019-04-16 13:35

    “Cracked” was such a refreshing, humorous and thought-provoking read. I loved how witty and unique the characters were, so three-dimensional with human problems and human souls. What a brilliant OzYA novel!

  • donnalyn ♡
    2019-04-14 18:48

    Clare Strahan crafts an honest representation of Australian youth. Quick to read, steadily paced and appropriately sprinkled with Aussie lingo. It was sweet how Keek and Clover had a nice boy-girl friendship before finally dating! I loved all the deep morals that were woven into the novel; Strahan addresses slut-shaming, homophobia and sexism without writing prose that sounds awkward or fake. The only thing that stops this book from getting 5 stars is the little spark that leaves a story an unforgettable favourite. It doesn't really lead up to anything, some parts of the story made me feel like the book was going nowhere. But I guess there's always beauty in the mundane.While Cracked wouldn't be placed in my top 10, it's a super fun, light and enjoyable read, geared with important issues related to growing up. Ten points to Clare Strahan for skilfully writing realistic young adult fiction with a debut novel!(Side note: super, super Australian.)

  • carolina ☾
    2019-03-25 14:41

    "I'm a virgin, Mum.All right?""Good."She throws a laugh at me."So am i. I'm saving myself for Jimmy Page.""Yeah, right. He's the biggest slut ever""Don't talk about God like that."Not what i expected at all. I don't know why but it felt like a Skins episode, which it's not a good sign. Weirdly, this is the first time i read a australian young adult book that i didn't like. There were some enjoyable elements to it. For example, Clover's mom "weirdness" and Phillip "Keek" himself was such a cutie yet he has some family problems but who hasn't?"Everything that's not invisible is cracked, my love. How else will the light shine... in and out?"

  • Rosalie
    2019-03-26 15:55

    Cracked is a gentle realistic Australian novel about a girl called Clover and her friends and close relatives. It describes the changing nature of friendships (both adult and teenage) plus the difficulties of growing up when your world and your friends change. It also highlights the pressures on a teenager when they feel and are different from the people around them. Clover attends a public high school, she is not a good student, nor is she always honest or kind but that is what makes the book more real and why she and many of her friends are likeable characters. I look forward to more books from this new author

  • Katie
    2019-04-21 21:33

    I remember reading a review once that used the phrase 'a dance along piece'. Those words kept popping into my head upon reading this book, dancing along with Clover and Keek. A delightful cheekiness weaves through the writing and it left me with a lightness of heart.

  • Arielle
    2019-03-31 17:30

    review to come shortly. http://chimneysandmagic.blogspot.com.au

  • Ash
    2019-04-06 20:44

    This book had great characters and great potential, but the plot didn't deliver as well as it could have, which made it a little boring at times.

  • Clare Snow
    2019-04-06 20:46

    Still coalescing my thoughts on Cracked."Make beauty from pain - there's a kind of joy in that; and maybe that's what art is for?"

  • Tara
    2019-04-10 15:36

    All reviews can be found at: eckeaubooks.tumblr.comClare Strahan is an Australian author and a graduate of RMIT’s Professional Writing and Editing program. She is a freelance editor, creator of the ‘Literary Rats’ cartoon and has been published in Overland magazine, where she also curated their first fiction anthology. ‘Cracked’ is her debut novel.‘Cracked’ is a compelling, realistic novel that captures the angst and complexities of the teenage experience. Clover is fifteen and she’s not sure where she fits, both at school and at home. Her family is broken and her friendships are fracturing. It seems all her attempts to pick up the pieces, while simultaneously discovering who she wants to be, lead to heavy consequences. But as Clover begins to define herself, she realises what is most important to her; like creativity, nature and standing up for what you believe in at any cost.‘Cracked’ has been written by a light and deft hand. Her characters are fully realised, complex and compelling - Clover in particular. Sex and more importantly, teenage girls’ sexuality is discussed openly. I particularly admired Strahan’s ability to discuss the girls’ ideas about sex and their own sexuality as separate from their male counterparts - something not often observed in young adult fiction. Drinking and drug-use are also freely explored as part of the teenage experience. Clare Strahan has the ability to communicate on an equal level with her audience about the issues and situations that a wide majority of teenagers would themselves in.The heart of the novel is its relationships and Strahan handles them immaculately. Clover’s stressed encounters with her overbearing and “free-spirited” mother are particularly heartbreaking at times. Clover struggles to understand the complexities of the relationships around her, what the cost of those relationships is and more importantly, if she is willing to pay it.Strahan has created a contemporary novel that captures all matter of teenage issues. From fracturing families, dalliances with illegal activities and what it takes to fit in with the ‘popular’ crowd to that teenage passion and creativity and the feeling of complete immortality that can only be felt by a teenager. Strahan has managed to capture the emotional pains and joys so beautifully and aptly.‘Cracked’ will appeal to those who enjoyed 2013’s ‘Snake Bite’ by Christie Thompson. Both authors deal with the same subject matter without being condescending to their audiences. As well as those who adored Abigail Tarttelin’s no-nonsense style in ‘Flick’ (2011) and ‘Golden Boy’ (2013).

  • Bruce Gargoyle
    2019-04-05 20:45

    3.5 starsTen Second Synopsis:Clover tries to make sense of friendship, boy and family weirdness issues while attempting to save the environment through artistic expression.Overall, this is an enjoyable and engaging read that comes together in the end. Considered in parts however, the plot ranges all over the place, and I didn't get the sense that all the places it ranged to added to the book in a meaningful way. The thing that most kept this from being a stellar story, in my opinion, was the fact that it relied on aspects of Aussie YA and MG that have been done to death. Clover has a single mum who is a bit of a hippie She doesn't know who her dad is. Having read a bucket load of Aussie YA stories over the years, a hippie single mother (with or without mental illness or a drinking problem) is some kind of pre-requisite for being featured as the main character in a book. The plot line about Clover being secretly in love with the "hottest guy in school" and how that all goes down also had that, "I've read all this before" whiff to it and felt a bit jarring to me - it seemed out of place to me that Clover (a reasonably independent soul) would suddenly fall in with the cool crowd and clamour for the attention of people she doesn't really like. So those annoying bits aside, I liked the way in which Clover discovers her niche and finds a way to express her ideas about the environment. I liked the way that these important social issues are brought up in this book and that the characters spend time thinking about them and acting on them. The ending was a bit unlikely but I liked the way that the author brought wider society into things (in the form of the police etc). For my personal tastes, I would have liked to have seen a lot tighter editing and maybe the loss of some of the typical teen-angsty situations that have been done before and a closer focus on the bits that made this book stand out from the rest.

  • Carolyn Gilpin
    2019-04-17 14:39

    Another long term read that got interrupted by many other 'need to finish because...' books (for bookclubs, launches, etc), but it was worth the read.Cracked is one of those books that you warm to - I find it hard to describe because at first I thought it was a much younger read, as Clover (the mc) felt that way, despite getting sent to the principal within the first five pages for telling her teacher where to go. I warmed to her, despite her name, which I just couldn't get used to, and followed her through the minefield of horrible high school, bitchy cliques, an eccentric mother, no father to speak of, a dying dog (the adorable old Staffy Lucille), and Keek, the boy who is her worst tease, then mate (via their love of old books & shared weird families), and potentially more than that. Clover may feel naive and youngish to the reader, but she is also angry at the world, and begins to stand up for what she wants, which is for people to see that the environment is being destroyed. She starts smoking, ditches school, and turns her artistic streak into a knack for protest graffiti, which in turn brings a few clashes with police. Meanwhile, her crush, the footy star Robbo, is showing an interest in her rebellious streak, and things definitely get more adult as she negotiates the will she/won't she question. Set in Melbourne's outer suburbs (I think), this had the feel of my childhood, including the misery of high school gossip and the vagaries of friendship. There were numerous moments where I cheered for her, and I could only wish that her fears for the environment were overstated. Thankfully there are quite a few kids out there like her today, who will fight hypocrisy and unfairness and the concrete and consumerism of the modern world. I wouldn't mind seeing some of Clover's artwork around our area, no matter the legalities!

  • Elizabeth
    2019-03-29 15:31

    Finally finished this book! Started in February and finished in July, for a relatively short book it just took me a while to get through mostly cause I did not as an American realize it was "Aussie lit". This was an impulse buy off the Barnes and Noble website's suggested books column that I downloaded on a whim in the midst of a book haul. Despite the setting and lingo which I really did not understand at certain points and kind of gave up on trying to get everything halfway through, I did actually enjoy this book! Surprising given the obvious barriers and target audience but I liked the switch up as well. It was interesting seeing how much location plays into growing up differently for people particularly in other countries. How this coming of age story was different from many American-based ones but also so very, very similar and the same as well. The characters were all quite likable and grew on me a lot especially towards the end. The authors writing style took some getting used to but once I did I started to really like it. This book was bittersweet but heartwarming as well if that can make any sense. Seeing the metamorphosis Clover goes through and the angst and frustrations she experiences are relatable in so many ways not only just to teens but anyone whose felt the intense pains of growing up and sometimes learning the hard way especially about the right kind of people to have in your life and those you should surround yourself with. I really liked this book, slow to start but fast to finish with a quite mixed up yet lovable cast. 3.5 stars!

  • Trisha
    2019-03-31 19:47

    Clover is a contradiction. She is a free-thinker, an environmentalist, a crusader, and yet she secretly lusts after the popular footy player, who really is ALL player, and she longs to fit in with The Herbs, a groups of mean girls.Meanwhile, she has incredible artistic talent that she uses to create graffiti, risking the wrath of the police. She takes up smoking and truants. She is certainly a hot mess.But luckily she has Keek, a boxer called Lucille and a conscience that stops her from getting into TOO much trouble.. It's long, and messy and all the characters have flaws and as Clover starts to work out who she can and cannot trust, we get a real narrative, authentic and grounded. Clover's mother not letting her on facebook, her inability to ride a bicycle and the knowledge that other kids at school see her as a freak give an idea of what she is going through.At times, I worried she was not be able to pull through. It's interesting how negatively the school authority and other adults are portrayed. They barely give Clover any compassionate. For the purposes of the story, it worked, but in reality, I hope most schools do not treat their students like this.Anyway, I was totally absorbed. I loved it. This review is also messy. Sorry.

  • Amanda Witt
    2019-04-08 17:43

    A good book for teens, told from the point of view of a 15 year old girl who thinks her mother is strange, but then she realises that other classmates' families are strange in their own ways. Towards the end she goes into vandalism and graffiti, with protesting the development of a local creek and nature reserve, and we see the view of someone who's lost interest in school and feels she doesn't belong there.

  • Teashy
    2019-04-21 20:54

    I enjoyed reading the book. Personally, I think that some of the relationships in the book are strange but that makes the book that much more interesting. To be honest, it wasn't my favourite book so I wasn't constantly holding onto every word. All in all, the book was okay but I wouldn't be to worried if I didn't read it again.

  • ana's ghost
    2019-04-04 15:28

    I really enjoyed this book. I have no idea what else to say as I finished this book ages ago before now I just haven't gone on goodreads for ages but I can at least say I thoroughly enjoyed and related to the main character in some ways.

  • Robyn
    2019-04-08 21:29

    Loved this Aussie YA novel, detailing Clovers struggles with life as a fifteen year old in today's society....the ending wasn't as good as it could have been , however, would still recommend & look forward to reading more of Clare's books

  • Tia
    2019-04-08 13:50

    3.5

  • M
    2019-03-29 13:48

    Boring, predictable and not particularly well written. Struggled to finish it. Yr 9+

  • Leeann Nolan
    2019-04-17 14:43

    Didactic and boring.

  • Sue Mitchison
    2019-04-24 20:30

    I wondered if this would be a suitable read-aloud for Year 7s. It was actually quite graphic and hard-hitting - definitely suitable for an older age!