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

Friday 18 May 2018

Review: Take Three Girls

Three successful and talented Australian YA authors have combined their awesomeness to produce a novel which deserves all the accolades and awards it has received. For anyone who's looking for a YA novel with bite, this is it.
Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell and Fiona Wood each write from the perspective of a year 10 student at a girls school set in Melbourne. Each is experiencing a tumultuous period of uncertainty, self-discovery, stress and change.

Ady is privileged and wants to pursue her creative talents but not all in her world is as it appears. Clem, a boarder, is a successful athlete, one half of a dysfunctional twin relationship and pining for the wrong older guy; Kate, also a boarder, is destined to succeed in obtaining an academic scholarship but will her love of music alter her fate?

When the three girls are involuntarily grouped together in the school's term three Wellness program, it paves the way for unexpected changes for all of them.

Concurrently, a vicious, anonymous online social media post titled 'PSST' has emerged, possibly created by boys at  Basildons. In it, girls from private schools in the region are cyber-bullied, falsely belittled, sexualised, and humiliated.

The story is told from each girl's POV whilst the authors beautifully weave the themes raised in the Wellness program, including identity, self-esteem and the idea of perfection. The girls grow together and support one another as their unlikely friendship solidifies. They grapple with family and school issues, relationships, bullying, testing friendships and uncertainties around decisions affecting their future. Although very different, these fully formed characters are girls every reader has come across. They exemplify the power of unbiased friendship and female solidarity.

I'm a sucker for intelligent and relevant Young Adult novels and authors unafraid to tackle real issues affecting teens today. This novel is so worthy of being long listed for the CBCA, Gold Inky and ABIA awards and shortlisted for the Indie award.

Title: Take Three Girls
Author: Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell, Fiona Wood
Publisher: Pan Macmillan, $18.99
Publication Date: 29 August 2017
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781742612744
For ages: 13+
Type: Young Adult Fiction