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

Monday 28 May 2018

Review: White Night

Bo Mitchell is 16, and lives in a small country town. His life revolves around footy, school and his friends, Sprog, Lozzie and Cam. At home, his mum is in the late stages of pregnancy and he helps his parents as much as he can.

Then Bo meets Rory, a new girl at school who lives in a completely self-sufficient, secretive, small community known as Eden, in an isolated part of the outskirts of town. Rory is treated like an outcast at school because she looks and dresses differently and has had little if any contact with modern conveniences and technology.

When Bo's family experience an unexpected crisis which causes a chasm between Bo and his dad, Bo is hurt and confused. He begins to spend more time with Rory at Eden and their relationship deepens to more than friendship.

Bo becomes fascinated by the community at Eden; their care of the environment, their kindness and commitment to one another and their self-sufficient lifestyle. He begins to question his own life choices and whether there's more to his life than footy and school. He's no longer sure what he believes in and wonders what kind of person he wants to be.

When Rory encourages Sprog to start a petition to save the local skate park from being developed, a grassroots campaign begins and plans are underway for a White Night lightshow fundraiser. Bo becomes caught up in the planning of the event, Rory retreats to Eden, and their contact is largely diminished. Bo soon realises that Eden isn't the utopian community he initially thought and understands it isn't particularly conducive to the developmental and social needs of a teenager due to the limitations and imposed rules by their leader, Ray.

At White Night, Bo begins to fear that the secretive ways of Eden may in fact be hiding a dangerous agenda. When Rory fails to meet Bo at their pre arranged time, Bo springs into action and races to Eden - with unexpected aid - and is shocked at what he stumbles across.

This is a story that highlights the power of kindness, honesty and the strength of ones convictions. It's about friendship, first love, teen relationships, family and mateship. It underlines the importance of the environment, being able to identify right from wrong and following through.

A beautifully written novel from a master Austraian YA storyteller. Ellie Marney's prose is measured and honest, her characters are compelling and the story world she builds is realistic, never sugar-coated.

Title: White Night
Author: Ellie Marney
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $19.99
Publication Date: 21 February 2018
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781760293550
For ages: 13+
Type:Young Adult Fiction