Thursday, September 2, 2010

Book Review: Girl Saves Boy by Steph Bowe

The first time we met, Jewel Valentine saved my life.
Isn’t it enough having your very own terminal disease, without your mother dying? Or your father dating your Art teacher?
No wonder Sacha Thomas ends up in the lake that Saturday evening…
But the real question is: how does he end up in love with Jewel Valentine?
With the help of quirky teenage prodigies Little Al and True Grisham, Sacha and Jewel have a crazy adventure, with a little lobster emancipation along the way.
But Sacha’s running out of time, and Jewel has secrets of her own.
Girl Saves Boy is a hugely talented debut novel, funny and sad, silly and wise. It’s a story of life, death, love… and garden gnomes.

Girl Saves Boy is the debut novel of sixteen year old author Steph Bowe, who does not condone the theft of garden gnomes and writes a blog here. I ran into Steph at the Melbourne Writer's Festival on Monday morning, funnily enough, straight after buying her book - which I avidly read all the way home on the train and then the bus, finishing it within two days.

Needless to say, it was amazing.

Girl Saves Boy is tangible truth that life is simple yet so complicated. Indeed, one of the characters say something along the lines of: "We can only be sure that we are somewhere between birth and death". How bittersweet and yet so true.

The great thing about this book is that it draws you in from the first line. In Steph's own words, it is a "quirky" love story - but it is so much more than that. It is also a fresh perspective on life, death, tragedy, family, friends and the small ironies that life instills.

It is written from a first-person perspective, but alternates between the views of the the two protagonists in a way that does not make the world of Girl Saves Boy a constrictive one.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever wondered about their existence, mortality, and everything in between.  And of course, love.

Well done Steph!

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