Guys. This a problem.
This book is so good but nobody can get it anymore. It is discontinued to the point where it’s existence as far as the internet is aware is a myth. It’s time to bust.
When Gemma returns home from school to see her sister packing her bags with a bruise on her face, she instantly knows she has to accompany Brianna. With stolen money from their mum’s boyfriend, the two of them fly across the Tasman to Australia in an attempt to find their father they haven’t seen in eight years. But he’s difficult to find. The two go across cities and the entire country in a bid to find him all whilst learning about the true dreams of each other, themselves and their families along the way.
I didn’t realise how mature this story would be. I literally forgot everything about this book and rereading it was a literal experience to fall in love with it again. For the record, I read this when I was 12. Before I knew what mental health was. Before I understood things like domestic violence and PTSD – which I should mention are triggers. I love it when authors understand the maturity that preteens hold and delve into like nothing. And in my unprofessional opinion it was well done.
The characters were absolutely beautiful. It wasn’t just our pre-teen protagonist Gemma that held the arcs and maturity that stole the show. No, this was a heist! A team of characters stealing my heart each with their roles and masteries. From the older sister with her heart in the wrong place but not quite her head to the hot goth she meets along the way and every big and little person in between. What a cast!
I loved how artistic the descriptions were. Very appropriate considering the art training of our main character Gemma, who turned everything into a landscape… even the landscapes (sorry, I just had to put it in there). Such interpretations wouldn’t make sense any other way, Brassi got the style of this book on lock. I wonder if they had artistic prowess themselves to be able to think and describe this way or if it just came out of a writer’s brain. Regardless, it charmed me.
The coming of age was amazing within the events of this book. I have yet to have read a book (that I can remember) that does this plotline with such finesse. It’s a typical trope for young adult fiction, but can you get tired of it when it turned so mature as Gemma both gained and let go of mature thinking? This can go up there with the classics.
But I’m upset. Because as much as I gush over this book, you’re gonna have to fight to find it. And I want you to. Just don’t steal my copy.
Paperchase gets a score of 5/5. Find this book somewhere. I dare you.