It’s Easy Being Teen. Right? Not always…
Natalie has never been one of the beautiful girls at school, and for much of her teen years has suffered with chronic acne – which has caused her to be very withdrawn. Fortunately, she does have 2 close friends (Zac and Lucy) and so she looks ahead to sharing her post-school future with them.
As they await their Year 12 results, all things seem to unravel when Natalie (who tells her story) is faced with the news of her parents impending divorce. At the same time, she begins to feel like the third wheel when Zac and Lucy ‘hook up’, adding another layer of angst for Natalie.
Natalie voices a lot of her problems – but in her head – she doesn’t say them out loud. We know how she’s feeling and what she would like to say, but she lacks the confidence to follow through. This, of course, leads her to some places and situations where she would rather not be.
There are other relationships for Natalie to negotiate in this, the last summer before university, when she experiences a number of firsts. She tries to rise above her personal insecurities, while her safe world crumbles around her…
Filled with authentic characterisation, this is a great debut novel from Nina Kenwood, and has already won the 2018 Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing. It is also one of the nominees for the 2020 Young Adult Indy Awards.
* Do any of Natalie’s thoughts echo what you have sometimes thought or experienced?
** Can reading help us to empathise with others who may live different lives to our own?
*** Here’s Nina’s website – all very new.
**** Available as an ebook.