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I received my copy from the publisher.


By : Fiona Wood

A whole term of school in the wilderness, a place where the classes are geared to life skills and survival. Sibylla has known this term was coming for a while, that doesn’t mean she wants to go. Then just before it all starts two very unexpected things happen. She becomes the face of a perfume with her picture appearing on a twenty metre billboard, and as a result she kisses hunk, Ben Capaldi. Sibylla isn’t sure what this is going to mean for the term in the great outdoors. She’s sure things will be fine though because her best friend Holly, is also going to be stuck there with her. Things get complicated though when, for Holly, friendship doesn’t seem as important as having a boyfriend and being popular.

Added to this is new girl Lou, she joins the term because her parents think it will be a good way for her to break the isolation she found herself in after the death of her boyfriend. Lou, is struggling, damaged, a reluctant addition to the cabin. She slowly gets drawn into the drama unfolding in front of her and she has to decide if she will stay on the sidelines or get involved for the sake of a new friendship.

This is a nuanced and engaging read. These characters are so believable, they could be any high school girl trying just to survive being a teenager. Sibylla is an average girl to whom something fortunate happens, she just wants to get through though and isn’t too worried about being popular, her best friend Holly has other priorities. Sibylla isn’t driven to capitalise on her luck but eventually her passiveness, becomes a little frustrating. She is the poster girl for reacting rather than being proactive. Lou is magnetic, her sadness just draws you in. You cannot help but be enthralled as she slowly comes out of herself like a flower starting to bloom, (as dodgy as that cliche may be and as much as Lou would curl her lip up at it). The story itself is a gently told tale of finding who you really are. These characters contrast in many ways and that contrast makes for an beautifully real story. The fragile one finding strength and the one who appears to have it sorted, realising things are not what she thought and finding a way to make up for her mistakes.

A story of discovery, not fitting in, relationships and love. Well worth a read.


Publisher: Pan Australia

Published: 01 June 2013

Format: Paperback 384 pages

Categories: Friendship, Growing Up

ISBN 13: 9781742612317

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page.


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