Book Review – Stone Girl by Eleni Hale
Stone Girl is a powerful and confronting story about the Australian out of home care system. It is heavy and honest and draws on elements of the authors own experience.
When her mother dies, twelve-year-old Sophie is moved into a foster home. Some of the other children there are troubled, damaged individuals. Sophie’s world has crumbled and now she has to deal with violence, unpredictable personalities and the oppressive uncertainty of her life.
As time passes Sophie’s is over being disappointed by adults and begins to rebel against authority. She caves to peer pressure to feel like she belongs to something. To someone.
The characters are so real it makes you ache for them. Their hurt and vulnerability are covered up with bravado and sass. Really, they need stability and love.
The novel is gritty and raw. It shows the reality of the system that desperately needs more resources to help these children whose parents have died or of those not capable of fulfilling their responsibilities.
Stone Girl is an exceptional first novel for author Eleni Hale. I can’t wait to read more of her work in the future.
For more information see https://www.penguin.com.au/books/stone-girl-9780143785613
Inside the Tiger by Hayley Lawrence
|This YA novel has it all...drama, complicated relationships, romance and intrigue. |
When Bel writes to Micah, an Australian on death row in a Thai prison, it's for a school assignment. When he writes back she's drawn into his world.
Letter by letter they reveal to each other pieces of themselves that no one else gets to see but the deeper Bel falls for Micah, the more her relationships at home are put at risk. Her father, a politician set to increase prison sentences would never understand and Eli, the boy next door, has feelings for Bel that he can no longer hide.
This story draws you in until you can practically feel the clock ticking between letters, the desperate tug of wanting something you can't have and Bel's hope that Micah could eventually be transferred home to Australia.
I couldn't put this book down. I had to keep reading to find out what happened to Bel, Micah and Eli. It made me cry and smile. It made me think about prisoners in a new light and I really cared what happened to the characters.
I highly recommend reading the 'From the Author' section to understand how this story came about. Hayley Lawrence is a brilliant author and clearly has a big heart too!
For more information see https://www.penguin.com.au/books/inside-the-tiger-9780143788959