'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 25 February 2016

Review: Yellow

Fourteen-year-old Kirra feels like her life is in crisis. She’s questioning her friendships, family relationships, goals and identity. What’s the point of trying to achieve anything when everyone who is supposed to care about her simply points out her flaws and inadequacies?

Targeted by her bullying friends, Kirra feels like she is all alone until she has a chance encounter with a ghost. Perhaps if Kirra can help the ghost to bring his murderer to justice, the ghost can help her reconnect with her friends and get her recently separated parents back together.

If only it were that simple.

Yellow is an impressive debut novel from author Megan Jacobson. Set in an Australian coastal town, it captures the highs and lows of coastal and small town life. It also captures the emotional challenges of teen friendships and bullying, especially where emotional manipulation and undermining of self-esteem are used as weapons to control others.

The story seems to have two separate storylines – Kirra’s interactions with the ghost and her relationship struggles with her friends, often drunk mother, and exceptionally easygoing father. Via the two storylines, Jacobson deals with themes of identity, peer pressure, alcohol abuse, self-esteem, appearance vs reality, friendship and trust. Kirra has to work through some complex issues to be able to resolve both the real and paranormal challenges she is facing, and doing so requires her to look beneath the surface to analyse not only her own motivations and desires, but also those of the people around her.

I was drawn into Kirra’s story and thought the paranormal aspect of the novel added some interesting dramatic tension as well as adding complexity to the resolution of the story and Kirra’s own personal growth. Aside from a few small details which caused me to disconnect briefly from Kirra and her fictional world, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel and found it thoughtful and insightful. I thought friendship and romance elements of the story balanced well with the more serious themes.

I’m looking forward to reading further work by this talented author.

And congratulations to Marina Messiha and fox_industry who are responsible for the cover design. It's stunning.

Title: Yellow
Author: Megan Jacobson
Publisher: Penguin, $19.99 RRP
Publication Date: 1 February 2016
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780143573333
For ages: 13+
Type: Young Adult Fiction