Read Inbetween Days by Vikki Wakefield Online


At seventeen, Jacklin Bates is all grown up. She’s dropped out of school. She’s living with her runaway sister, Trudy, and she’s in secret, obsessive love with Luke, who doesn’t love her back. She’s stuck in Mobius—a dying town with the macabre suicide forest its only attraction—stuck working in the roadhouse and babysitting her boss’s demented father.A stranger sets up caAt seventeen, Jacklin Bates is all grown up. She’s dropped out of school. She’s living with her runaway sister, Trudy, and she’s in secret, obsessive love with Luke, who doesn’t love her back. She’s stuck in Mobius—a dying town with the macabre suicide forest its only attraction—stuck working in the roadhouse and babysitting her boss’s demented father.A stranger sets up camp in the forest and the boy next door returns; Jack’s father moves into the shed and her mother steps up her campaign to punish Jack for leaving, too. Trudy’s brilliant façade is cracking and Jack’s only friend, Astrid, has done something unforgivable.Jack is losing everything, including her mind. As she struggles to hold onto the life she thought she wanted, Jack learns that growing up is complicated—and love might be the biggest mystery of all....

Title : Inbetween Days
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781922182364
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 333 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Inbetween Days Reviews

  • ALPHAreader
    2019-04-12 00:33

    ‘Inbetween Days’ is the new contemporary YA novel from Australian author, Vikki Wakefield. It’s taken me so long to get around to writing a proper review of this book because a lot of crazy things have been happening lately and I’ve found myself getting so busy … I had to come back and do a re-read of Wakefield’s new gem before I could sit down to write a proper review, and in doing so I re-discovered a little slice of literary calm in the midst of my hectic waking life. A novel to take me completely out of myself; enjoying eating up Wakefield’s richly imagined small-town and the complex fighting character of Jacklin Bates – and I’m reminded all over again of what a captivating author Vikki Wakefield is.‘Inbetween Days’ is about Jack, who has a complicated relationship with her sister and the boy she wants more from. Jack lives in a town that has a ‘suicide forest’, where people frequently go to die, and I particularly adored the town of Mobius – a setting that’s as rich and complex as the characters and impacts on them a lot. Mobius begs the question; what does it do to a town that’s a dead-end (literally) for so many people?Morning arrived late to our town and night came early; it was ten by the time the sun made it over Pryor Ridge and around four when it ducked behind Mount Moon. Everything in Mobius stretched to reach the light: we built out houses on stilts, our trees grew tall and spindly, our shadows were long.Now, tell me that little description doesn’t have the ring of Harper Lee to it? Somehow, it was hotter then: a black dog suffered on a summer's day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square. Men's stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three o'clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum.(P.S. – that’s one of my all time favourite slices of writing, from ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’) This novel has Vikki Wakefield covering a lot of new territory – a real break away from ‘Friday Brown’ and ‘All I Ever Wanted’. For one, she really delves into matters of “romance” which were glancing blows in her first two books – in ‘Inbetween Days’ there’s a love triangle of sorts (a very Vikki Wakefield triangle, to be sure) and I’ve got to say I particularly appreciated reading sexual politics being negotiated by Wakefield’s Jack, a young woman who is piecing together the difference between sexual desire and true intimacy.I also loved the dynamic of Jack’s relationship to her sister, Trudy, who she has moved in with after dropping out of school. Mim in ‘All I Ever Wanted’ may have had some dubiously strapping older brothers, and Friday Brown had what started as an oddly sisterly-sick relationship with Arden, but in ‘Inbetween Days’ Wakefield really delves into this tricky familial bond with fascinating results;Trudy lunged. She grabbed my arm and dragged me off the bed. I hit the floor, bellowing. Trudy hauled me up from behind, digging her fingers into my armpits and shoving me along in front of her like a sack of manure. At the bathroom door she gave me one hard shove. While I leaned over the basin, she ran the shower.She elbowed me in, fully clothed, without waiting for the water to run hot. I loved reading Jack and Trudy scenes – there’s something visceral in Wakefield’s writing them, I can practically taste the adrenaline when they corner each other like that. But there are also many aspects to ‘Inbetween Days’ that make this a wholly beautiful Vikki Wakefield book. Like, for instance, the writing of marginalised characters from lower socio-economic backgrounds. I think when youth literature talks about ‘We Need Diverse Books’, it’s often racial and sexual diversity that gets talked about the most – but really all kinds of diverse characters are needed, and a rather insidious common portrayal of white middle-class characters often pervades youth lit. Wakefield doesn’t hold to that – she constantly challenges with her books. In all three she has written characters who are struggling – they don’t have a fixed address (like Friday and her mother) or they’re in constant trouble with the law (Mim’s family in ‘All I Ever Wanted’). This is explored again in ‘Inbetween Days’, with drop-out Jack whose regional town is dying so thoroughly that she finds herself without a job … Wakefield’s characters remain some of the truest and most vital to modern Australian young adult literature. ‘Inbetween Days’ is Australian gothic. It’s at times bleak and tender, with touches of romance threaded with heartache, all playing out in a town that’s dead and dying. As anyone who has read a Vikki Wakefield novel knows, it’s near impossible to completely summarise her stories; save to say it’s another ‘must-read’ from one of Australia’s best young adult authors writing today.

  • jesse
    2019-04-02 21:27

    I will always, always unconditionally love Vikki Wakefield's books like a lost girl in a desert finding a glass of fresh of water. What are the chances of finding something like that? You tell me.

  • Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess
    2019-04-06 22:10

    5 Words: Family, friendship, resentment, love, growing-up.This book very much sits on that fine line between YA and Adult fiction - as much as it's about growing up, that inbetween time when you aren't yet grown but are no longer a child, it is also written in a rather mature and slightly less accessible (for me) style.I loved the small town mentality, how everything came back to it. I loved how the Jack seemed so trapped, how everyone seemed trapped, but that no one ever properly left. I loved how the characters themselves seemed as small as the setting.I didn't really like Jack that much, and I struggled at first because of it, but I got sucked right in to her world. I was there witnessing the tumultuous relationships she had with everyone around her, I felt her resentment, I understood her actions. I loved how she interacted with her sister, how they weren't best friends, how they argued all of the time. I have sisters, and we are at each other's throats, so the relationship really rang true.This book had a very summery feel to it, in the writing style itself as much as the summer setting, and at times I was reminded of Panic by Lauren Oliver.I was provided with a copy free for review.

  • Paula Weston
    2019-04-10 23:25

    This is going to sound weird and a tad narcissistic, but I feel like Vikki Wakefield writes books just for me. This one in particular.It’s like she’s crawled into my soul, found all my insecurities and all the things I didn’t like about myself as teenager and captured them in the wonderful mess that is Jack. And, as usual, she’s done it in a way that’s poetic and profound and beautifully written.As with every Wakefield novel, the relationships all ring true - between siblings, lovers, parents and friends. There’s a rawness and an honesty that always blows me away with her writing. There's also laugh out loud dialogue and well-crafted metaphors, not to mention moments that left me teary (even on the second read). Jack doesn’t always make good decisions, but that’s what makes her journey so authentic and her hard-earned moments of maturity so rewarding. And I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to hug a character as much as Jeremiah (even if he is a hulking giant who doesn’t like to be touched) - or punch someone as much as Luke, who was possibly a little too familiar.One of the things I love most about this book is that, while it works brilliantly as contemporary YA, it also resonated with me as a nod to Gen-Xers and our obsession with leaving home.Love this book. Highly recommended.

  • Text Publishing
    2019-04-03 22:29

    Reading Age: 14+ Themes: Small-town coming-of-age story about friendship, escape and love.Vikki Wakefield legions reassemble. There’s a new book to be read! This is another beautiful and poignant tale of rural adolescence from the author of CBCA Honour Book Friday Brown and All I Ever Wanted.‘Wakefield has captured small-town life perfectly. There is the stifling sense of everyone knowing everyone, but also the boredom that comes from being a teenager with nowhere to go. In these claustrophobic conditions, she explores love, death and identity.’Books+Publishing‘A gritty, heartfelt read for teens and adult readers alike.’Readings‘Inbetween Days is Australian YA gothic. It’s at times bleak and tender, with touches of romance threaded with heartache, all playing out in a town that’s dead and dying. As anyone who has read a Vikki Wakefield novel knows, it’s near impossible to completely summarise her stories; save to say it’s another ‘must-read’ from one of Australia’s best young adult authors writing today.’Alpha Reader‘Intense and engaging…Highly recommended.’Reading Time‘Vikki Wakefield has done it again. She’s gone and taken my breath away with another exquisite book…This is the sort of writing everyone who doubts the power of YA should read. Without a doubt, Wakefield is one of Australia’s best writers.’Unfinished Bookshelf‘Vikki Wakefield writes stories that will break your heart.’Readings‘[Wakefield’s] characters are believable flawed and memorable and there are some good life lessons for young players.’Otago Daily Times‘Wakefield has never sounded more like Harper Lee, with poignant descriptions and on-point characterisations.’Alpha Reader, Favourite Books of 2015‘[Vikki Wakefield] proves again that she’s the mistress of YA twisted relationships and disturbed characters, all memorable, all sketched with compassion, wit and insight, the adults as well as teens.’Ruth Starke, Australian Book Review, Books of the Year 2015‘[Wakefield] gives her fictional landscape the same haunting quality that she achieved with her first novel, Friday Brown, and her writing is full of insight and feeling.’Age/Sydney Morning Herald‘An utterly gripping read with authentic, complicated and relatable characters.’Age/Sydney Morning Herald, Best Children’s Books of 2015/b>‘This tender story about the opportunities we are presented with, and what we do with them, is perfect reading for older teens and adults alike.’Big Book Club‘Memorable, intriguing, perceptive and often very funny, this is an unforgettable YA novel and a most unusual love story.’Magpies‘Wakefield’s writing is unflinchingly honest…readers who let themselves sink into Wakefield’s descriptions of small-town life, its constraints, and frustrations will enjoy following Jack as she searches for meaning, finding love and purpose in the unlikeliest people.’Publisher’s Weekly

  • RitaSkeeter
    2019-03-25 22:06

    [4.5] I read a lot of YA and most of it is urban, so it was refreshing to see a different locale – in this case a small town in the Australian bush. The book reminded me, in both tone and the bush setting, of Jasper Jones – except even better. The setting in this book is almost a character; the small town in its death throes and the subsequent lack of employment and opportunities for the young people that live there. It leads to two things in this book – they either leave or they drink for something to do.This book is very much a character study – and I have to say the author captured teenage angst well. There were times I could have throttled the main character, so infuriating was she at times. But she felt like a real teenager. Not one of these wise beyond her years mini-adults that populate so many YA books, but a true to life (at times insufferable) teenager.This can be a grim read at times, but it is saved from becoming depressing by two things. Firstly, by main character Jack . A pain in the arse, yes, but also a character you want to get ahead. You want her to have a future. The second is the humour. My favourite line came when Jack and her mother were talking and the mother was being a bit all carpe diem when she tells Jack; Ma smoothed out her dress. ‘Because one day you’re hot in a string bikini and the next time you blink you’re Mrs Doubtfire’. She leaned over and took a beer, twisting the top off with her apron. Hopefully I haven’t reached Mrs Doubtfire status yet, but I agree with the sentiment!Ultimately this is a book with hope. Highly recommended.

  • Trisha
    2019-04-01 23:11

    Vikki Wakefield’s third novel is just as intense and engaging as her previous two. Seventeen-year-old Jacklin Bates lives with her sister Trudy on the outskirts of their small country town, Mobius. She’s dropped out of high school, thinks she’s in love with a boy who is clearly using her, and is caught in between teen age and adulthood...Read the rest of my review at Reading Time . There's also a piece by Vikki about writing the book. It's eloquent and insightful.

  • Rosanne Hawke
    2019-03-23 21:11

    Vikki Wakefield’s Inbetween DaysThis is South Australian YA author Vikki Wakefield’s third novel. I also enjoyed her All I Ever Wanted and Friday Brown. This new title has an older feel even though main character Jack is seventeen. Jack is living with ‘runaway’ sister, Trudy and waiting for Luke to notice her, but it is Jeremiah who does, intelligent, quirky, kind Jeremiah. This novel is inhabited by very interesting people: Pope, who Jack is afraid has come to the forest to die, like so many others; Roly who is still traumatised from school bullying; Astrid who squeezes Jack out of a job; the demented father of the roadhouse owner who’s always trying to find his way back to the old drive in. Plus a mother with rough, tough love. The relationships are complex and rich with secrets that are finally realised before growth and nurturing can begin. This is an excellently written novel of a small Australian community. There are no cliches, no stereotypes: a novel of yearning, discovery and belonging. This is literary YA at its best.Five stars!PS: a note re audience for schools: this is probably one for the senior school as despite the YA age of the main character, most are older and some of the content borders on New Adult.

  • Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
    2019-04-13 22:21

    Pages read: 36I've been bored for all of those pages. Thematically most similar to The Piper's Son, which I also DNFed.

  • Michelle
    2019-04-02 22:11

    Vikki Wakefield has done it again. She’s gone and taken my breath away with another exquisite book. While it (thankfully) doesn’t have the soul-crushing heartbreak of Friday Brown, Inbetween Days is an equally gorgeous novel and has reinforced my love for Wakefield’s unforgettable prose.As with Friday Brown, the hot, dry, stifling regional Australia setting is a character in its own right in Inbetween Days. The slow, almost suffocating, slightly macabre small-town of Mobius came to life so vividly on the page. Perhaps I found it easy to relate to because of the places I’ve lived and visited throughout Australia, but I think it’s more likely that Wakefield just perfectly captures settings, both urban (in Friday Brown) and remote. It goes beyond just describing a town. Wakefield perfectly captures the people, the oppressive weight of isolation and the inexplicable thought that adventure lies just beyond its limits.It’s so hard to articulate my feelings for Inbetween Days because it’s just perfect. Not one word is wasted. Every emotion explored. Ever character a valuable addition to the story. Jack was brilliant. Sure of herself, yet continually confused. Struggling to make the break from home. Complex, yet so easy to relate to. But my favourite character, beyond any doubt, was Jeremiah. That sweet boy stole my heart.It’s so incredibly difficult to explain my love for this novel, for Wakefield’s writing. It’s something everyone should experience. This is the sort of writing everyone who doubts the power of YA should read. Without a doubt, Wakefield is one of Australia’s best writers.This review and many more can be found at The Unfinished Bookshelf.Thank you to Text Publishing for providing a copy of the book for review.

  • Pauline
    2019-04-16 23:22

    This is the third novel by Australian author Vikki Wakefield. What is inspiring about Wakefield’s work is her skill in tapping into the issues that are fundamental to teens and she does not hold back in her depiction of small country town Australia. Reading this novel the inactivity, the unemployment, the lack of opportunity or motivation and hope is almost palpable. This story, the pace, the characters and the colloquialisms are quintessentially Australian. Seventeen year old Jack (Jacklin) has dropped out of school and is working at the local general store. After an argument with her parents she has moved in with her older sister with whom she has a love/hate sibling relationship. What gives this book its strength is the complex web of relationships and friendships between people in a small community, with hopes, dreams and aspirations of a better future. This is certainly a book for older readers as there is significant swearing and sexual references.

  • Tara
    2019-04-02 19:03

    Vikki Wakefield certainly has a way with words. Within pages I was taken into a small, dying town and instantly connected with Jack, a 17 year old girl who was living with her sister, working in the local store and meeting her boyfriend once a week in a secret location. I could see the oldness of the main street, hear the cat screeching and almost feel the dust on my skin, and more than once, I had to go and give my dog a cuddle after reading about Jack's dog, Gypsy. There were so many things going on in this story but just like life, they happen and then the next thing happens and then the next......I loved reading this book, it took me to another place, and it ended with a hint of possibility and hope.

  • JayneDownes
    2019-03-20 18:06

    I found the story rather dark, Vikki Wakefield did a great job of creating the setting in the depressing small town of Möbius. It is a complex and well written story with plenty of imagery. A coming of age story about the choices a 17 year old girl makes as she gains independence.

  • Olivia (The Candid Cover)
    2019-03-21 19:27

    I'm not really liking the direction that this book is going in. The main character is pretty dislikable and makes poor decisions. DNF at pg. 110.

  • Elspeth LaMorte
    2019-04-05 19:04

    Reviewing Vikki Wakefield is always so hard because she reduces me to incoherence, that's how good her books are.

  • Diana-christie
    2019-03-27 23:21

    I liked the main character's relationship with her mom. Her mom was funny. Ma: "Tomorrow you should put that new license into action. Have some fun."Jacklin: What? "Why?"Ma: "Because one day you're hot in a string bikini, and the next time you blink you're Mrs. Doubtfire."It had some really good writing, too: "I missed being happy at least half the time. I'd never noticed before, but rage sits under your ribs.""Ma's weekly treatment and blow-dry--in all her years she'd never come out looking much different, just freshly sprayed and stiff with Mrs. Gates's signature hairspray, the Black Death, which gave off an odor that made me worry she'd go off like a firecracker if she strayed too close to fire.""I went straight to my room and threw my stuff onto the bed. I put Ma's china bird on the windowsill. My mood plummeted further. The room was basically a coffin with graying paint and a stained ceiling. There was a foul smell in there, like something had died in the walls; it just needed shutters on the window and a plague of blowflies to make it the attic room from The Amityville Horror. I opened the window. The smell followed me back into the hall..."I can't live like this," I said. "My room is possessed." "It's quite possibly your own questionable hygiene," Trudy said...There really wasn't any kind of plot. Just a story about a teen dropout who has an older sister she moves in with. Then she has flings with one guy who's not serious about her. There's another guy who loves her but she doesn't love him. I really liked the writing on scenery that it had being based in Australia.

  • Kirsti
    2019-03-21 21:13

    A coming of age novel that has a simple but thought provoking story line.

  • Ernie
    2019-03-23 20:17

    Vikki Wakefield's first YA novel Friday Brown was a CBCA Notable Book in 2013 and this second novel fulfills the promise shown then. Jacklin, the narrator has left school in year 11 and the writer's focus is not on bullying at school but the results of it later. In the dying country town of Mobius in Victoria, Jacklin hates herself for her constant inability to get on with her mother or her older sister or communicate successfully with the boys who either desire her for sex or friendship. Lurking outside the town is a state forest, notorious as a site for suicides, many of them recorded in notes left in bottles that hang in the tree near the carpark. This is near the place by the dam where the local youths swim and where Jacklin waits for Luke to have sex.The story is set between the mystery at the dam where something is poisoning the marron and Jacklin's dilemma in these 'in between days', 'stuck between yesterday and tomorrow', sacked from her part time job at the supermarket and living with her sister in another house because she can't get on with her mother. 'Why can't anyone say what they mean?' she pleads. When her sister tells her that she needs to change after yet another Christmas day disaster where her 'hair trigger balance between rudeness and civility' results in her mother sending her out, Jacklin maintains that she can't change while her sister insists that she can and she should. If she can't forgive, can she understand?Two boys in her year group at school, who also suffered bullying return to the town and renew their friendship while Jacklin also shows some hope by her other part time job caring for the demented father of her former boss. They all meet at the abandoned drive-in cinema on the edge of town and they might just be able to get it it working again.Wakefield thoroughly engaged me with her characters that I cared about and the comparisons she offered as they each try to cope with problems of relationship both with parents and their own age group in that small town environment where people know all and see all and younger people cannot see the caring that is also present. This story of mothers and daughter, sisters, first love and the leaving of home also provides some surprises and not just from the older man who camps in the forest. Recommended for ages14 and upwards.

  • Heather Boundy
    2019-04-20 18:03

    Wakefield portrays young adult angst in a raw, and at times, provocative way. The relationships and romances in this book are deftly described and certainly not childlike. This is a young woman attempting to find her place in the world and making lots of mistakes along the way. A difficult family set-up, fraught relationship with her sister, and a mixture of friendships both passing and lasting make this a complex story in many ways. Throw in life in a small country town and you have quite a gripping read. Certainly one for older readers of YA.

  • Bianca
    2019-04-14 23:14

    This is probably my least favourite book from Wakefield so far, but seeing as it is still a Wakefield story, it was brilliant. The plot in this novel seemed very abstract for a lot of the story and the ending far from gave me the closure I needed. However, I feel very attached to this book right now. Jack, Gypsy, Trudy, Jeremiah, Roly, Meredith...Such an amazing diverse group of characters who truly made this story. Definitely a great story of self discovery.

  • Sarah
    2019-03-25 02:15

    Every time I read a Vikki Wakefield book it takes me a while to recover. Much like All I Ever Wanted and Friday Brown, Inbetween Days is heartbreaking, hopeful and absolutely stunning.

  • Lauredhel
    2019-03-27 18:14

    I can't help it. Vikki Wakefield. I love her. She deserves all the awards.

  • Debi G.
    2019-04-01 02:07

    "It seemed to me that if people would just say what they meant, we'd all get back half our lives in wasted time" (47).The mother-daughter conflict is too vague.The "dying small town" trope works well. The suicide forest is a stellar plot device and setting.The relationships that are depicted are consistently unsettling. The pace matches the character's trepidatious growth and reticence.Jeremiah is a gem.These simple sentences oversimplify the complexity of the novel.

  • Izzy Rizzo
    2019-04-20 21:28

    eh... its like to kill a mocking bird but jasper jones but older and with more sex. eh, i didn't really like any of the characters so lol. on the brightside its cool to see jack learn the difference betweensexual desire and an acu†al relationship i guess thats a cool thing to talk about. okay thats it , kinda bland, need me good reads goal to be met tHIS yeAr yeWWWW

  • Jess White
    2019-03-21 21:07

    This book was a good solid 3.5 stars. Honestly, I wouldn't have picked it up if it wasn't on the CBCA awards list, but I'm glad I read it. I quite liked the characters, as they had depth and interest to them, however I found the storyline to be a little slower in its progression. Overall, it was a good read, particularly if you like good character development stories.

  • Sally Flint
    2019-04-17 22:09

    A gutsy read about a 17 year girl, living in a small Australian town, finding who she is. A rites of passage book exploring romance, family, loss and loneliness it manages to avoid being cheesy and leaves you caring about the characters. I will forgot about this book straight away, but only because there wasn't so much for me to empathise with. A good teenage read.

  • Rhianna
    2019-04-07 18:25

    Got bored, didn't finish.

  • Carolyn Gilpin
    2019-03-27 19:14

    Jacklin lives in a very small town, overshadowed by mountains & a forest where people come to end their lives.Meanwhile, Jack is trying to kickstart her own life - leaving school to work a part-time job, moving in with her newly-returned older sister, & having a fling with an older boy from the next town.It's that time between leaving school & starting the rest of your life. Jack thinks she’s living but she’s in limbo, waiting for Luke to love her. Jack is quite independent and fierce. In that way she was like Mim in ‘All I Ever Wanted’, except Mim was tougher yet ‘behaved’ better, trying to stick by her rules. Jack is behaving badly by leaving school, living with her sister, not seeing her parents, and having sex, yet she is a good caring person in many ways, who notices a lot of details about other people. She's just confused and making mistakes a lot - a very teenage thing to do. A great character! When Luke doesn't come to meet her at 'their spot' one day, Jack goes off on a trail of rebellion and mistakes. But I love that she does this while still caring for people - Mr Broadbent with his dementia, and Pope, the guy camping in the woods, whom Jack is convinced has come to kill himself. And she tries her best to care for her old dog Gypsy, and the stray cat who won't let anybody near him.The narrative is interesting in that the reader gets things revealed to us slowly by Jack, such as the truth about her Ma & Dad, and the complex relatonship between Jack, older sister Trudy and their mother. At first you think you know why the girls left home, but there's more to it. Gosh, so many amazing characters - like many small towns, everyone knows each other and everyone's a little mad. I can't not mention the wonderful Jeremiah, returned to look after his mother while she recovers from her stay in a psych ward. In some ways big, solid, dependable and strong, yet in others vulnerable, frustrating in his almost-autistic way of seeing things. Jack has to be careful how she speaks to him and treats him, and I was on tenterhooks hoping she wouldn't hurt him. So many truths were revealed along the way, even the realisation that the townsfolk were on the whole more caring than they first appear. Even Jake is not an awful guy - he was actually more honest with Jack in what he wanted from their 'relationship', than she was with him.This is a gritty yet tender and novel (I'm beginning to think that's Wakefield's specialty!) that captures beautifully much of the confusion and murkiness of a teenager doing her best, stuffing things up, and learning as she goes. I do love Wakefield's style, with her unique turn of phrase, and people who swear and hurt each other and do the wrong thing, but also show unexpected kindessnesses. She is never boring, even when the characters are seemingly going nowhere!I particularly loved the last line, ‘I started from there.’

  • Kylie Purdie
    2019-04-13 18:21

    This the second short listed book in the young adult category for the Australian Children's Book Council Book of the Year Award 2016. The complete short list can be viewed here. didn't sink into this as easily as I did the other books on the list. This is the only one that took me longer than 48 hours to read. However it is one that has stayed with me after reading.Vikki Wakefield provides a strong portrait of rural town Australia - a place slowly dying as it's young people move away. In the meantime, Jack is there, not sure what she wants to do, struggling to make connections with family and friends. In fact it is Jack's relationships with a range of people that make this book. Her idolisation of her sister that is starting to taint with the reality of living with her, her estranged relationship with her parents, her attachment to a boy who's not that attached to her, her concern for Pope - the boy camped out in the bush behind Jack's house, a place notorious for suicides, her care of her employers elderly father suffering from dementia, her friendship with two old school mates who were misfits. All of these relationships and Jacks interactions with them give her depth and substance. It gives the reader something to hang onto and identify with. Jack is a teen struggling with what so many teens do - where do I fit in, what direction do I go and am I able to be loved - and while not all of these questions are answered by the end of the book, there is hope that she is on her way to finding her place in the world.

  • Readingee
    2019-03-25 23:19

    I have two words to support my reasoning for my two stars for this novel: too sad. It's a simple as that, I felt like the whole novel was just documenting the life of this depressing town, it's small population and basically how difficult life was because of the limited opportunities available. Jack could be a described as a teenager wise beyond her years, however only in certain aspects of her life; for the most part she seemed like a troubled teenager, who was lost and needed to be found. Honestly, hearing about her life was depressing and frustrating to say the least, she was stubborn and failed to learn from experiences in her life. Apart from that, another explanation for my two stars was the fact that I didn't find this novel very engaging, I kept sort of drifting in and out of it, I would remain engaged for a few minutes and then afterwards I would just be staring blankly at the words, reading it but not taking any of it in. Sometimes I would read something, and then a couple of chapters later I realised that they would be discussing something significant occurred previously and I had no idea what was going on. I was missing such large chunks of the novel, simply because I was disinterested. Sometimes for me I have a slow start to novels, but then I pick up the pace when it gets exciting or intense - but this novel delivered neither of those aspects. I have a lot of respect for Vikki Wakefield, but this novel I simply didn't enjoy.