Before You Forget – Julia Lawrinson

Title: Before You Forget9780143574071
Author: Julia Lawrinson
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 235
Category: 50. Read a book set in your country
Format: Paper

OKay, so I’d already read a lot of the well known books that are set in Australia. Or didn’t have much interest in them. But, Australia has always had quite a good young adult market so I thought I’d find something there. Lo and behold I found this little book by one of my favourite authors as a teenager. Now, for any Aussies out there you might habe been expecting a John Marsden or Melina Marchetta book to make this list but I loved both of those authors and have read pretty much everything they’ve written. Don’t worry though, I’m going to reread Tomorrow When the War Began since it’s a favourite of mine.

The first Julia Lawrinson book I read was quite by accident. I found it in my school library and the blurb sounded just like my life so off I went. For the record, that book was Obsession about a teenage girl with an alcoholic mother (I had an alcoholic father) who starts at a new school and develops a crush on a girl a little older than her.

What I’ve always loved about her books and continued to love in this one, is that these books really do reflect what it’s like to be a teenager growing up in Australia (and probably to some extent in other countries).

Before You Forget is the story of a girl starting her last year of high school but her dad is acting really weird and her best friend is acting really weird so she ends up with no one to talk to. Her dad is suffering from early onset alzheimers and her friend is suffering from an eating disorder. There’s lots of awkward little encounters with her family and friends that bring me right back to what it’s like to be seventeen and so excited to finish high school but also terrified of what comes next but also to feel like no one quite understands you. This is a book I wished I could have read when I was in high school.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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Ship Breaker – Paolo Bacigalupi

Title: Ship Breakershipbreaker3-paolobacigalupi
Author: Paolo Bacigalupi
Genre: Young Adult/Dystopian
Pages: 326
Category: 10. Read a book labelled as young adult
Format: Paper

Date Started: September 5th 2017
Date Finished:  September 13th 2017

Set in the same world as Bacugalupi’s earlier book The Windup Girl, this novel is the first in a series aimed at young adults. Taking us back to America somewhere around New Orleans we get to explore the world of ship breaking through young Nailer’s eyes.

His job is dangerous. He crawls through the innards of big old ships, the kind we’re used to seeing photos of today huge iron ships that haul cargo all over the world. His job is to pull them apart though, just the small bits, copper wiring and such, then the so called heavy crew will come in and pull the ship itself apart.

One day he almost dies but he doesn’t, so he becomes known as Lucky Boy. Then he really does get lucky when a storm shipwrecks one of the new clipper ships just off shore and he is the first one to find it. There’s more wealth than he’s ever seen before. And then he finds something else that changes everything. Maybe he could even get out of this place and make it somewhere better.

Unlike the Bangkok we saw in the Windup Girl, New Orleans is completely underwater aside from the occcasional tip of a high rise building to be seen at low tide. Nailer and everyone he knows survives in tiny huts along the beach and everyone he knows works on the ships. He can only dream of what’s away from there. He dreams about the clipper ships that they see in the distance and wishes he was on one but his little corner of America has been forgotten by the rest of the world.

Rating: 4/5 stars (definitely be reading the other books in the series)