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Untidy Towns
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Untidy Towns

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202895,205 (3.42)Ingen/inga
Seventeen-year-old Adelaide is sick of being expected to succeed on other people's terms. She knows she just has to stick it out at school for one more year and then she'll be free. Instead she runs away from her fancy boarding school back to her sleepy hometown to read and dream. But there are no free rides. When Addie's granddad gets her a job at the local historical society, she soon finds out that it's dusty and dull, just like her new life. Things change when she starts hanging out with Jarrod, a boy who seems full of possibilities. But it turns out he's as stuck as she is. And Addie realises that when you want something in life, you've actually got to do something about it.… (mer)
Medlem:waltandmartha
Titel:Untidy Towns
Författare:
Info:University of Queensland Press
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Taggar:to-read

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Untidy towns av Kate O'Donnell

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“I ran away on a Tuesday afternoon in late March. Six pm and I was headed south-west on a train that smelled stale…. I’d done it now. Right decision. Wrong decision. My decision.”
The opening paragraph stirs all manner of dramatic incidents in the reader’s imagination, all of which are undercut further down the page when we discover that Adelaide is running away from an elite private boarding school in Melbourne and is, in fact, on her way home to the small country town of Emyvale. Despite the drama of the opening, this is quiet book, a gentle coming of age for Adelaide as she reconnects with childhood friends, finds an interest in her work at the local historical society and completes Yr 12 by correspondence.
I’m sure rural teens will recognise the characters, young and old, as parallels to their own communities. Adelaide’s blended family includes her mum (who seems more like a sister), her blues-musician partner and their young wild-child, Clover, Adelaide’s dead father’s mum who sends her books, the father who teaches her to drive and finds her a job at the historical society. In addition to Sam, Emma and Dan who welcome her back into their friendship circle after five years, Adelaide connects with her primary-school best friend Jen and interesting developments ensue when boarding school best friend Mia turns up unexpectedly in the school holidays. Local drop-out Jarrod, becomes her love-interest, and miscellaneous elderly people from the historical society support her re-integration into the Emyvale community. Not every character is fully fleshed out but they are all treated with gentle humour, and I fell entirely in love with her little sister’s uninhibited affection (shared equally between her family and her pet rabbit and pony!).
There’s an attempt to reference gender struggle of the past and contemporary sexual diversity, but this is an essentially (White) Australian story. There’s a better sense of people than place, but country readers will recognise ordinary pleasures like the parties in an abandoned bowling club, the camping trip aborted by a storm and nostalgia about pony club adventures and primary school accidents. They’ve probably also sat politely through presentations of old photos and know well the importance of scones and vanilla slice in maintaining continuity of tradition.
Multiple references to “marking time” seem appropriate given Adelaide’s love of history, but the month-long chapters do more than mark time; each small story-arc charts a moment in Adelaide’s rediscovery of herself after five long years trying to fit in at the boarding school. I spent the latter chapters waiting for a sudden terrible climax and was pleased to discover it never arrived – it was a pleasure to realistic depiction of coming of age that doesn’t revolve around any tragic event.
Recommended for teens, mostly girls, who’ve been wondering why all the YA stories seem to be set in cities. Anyone who reads widely will want to peruse Adelaide’s reading list which ranges from Marsden’s Tomorrow when the War Began through Wilfred Owen and Ginsberg to Mitford’s Love in a Cold Climate – the references are helpfully included at the end of the book. ( )
  IsabellaLucia | Oct 24, 2020 |
Adelaide decides in her last year of a boarding school in Melbourne to run back home to her sleepy Victorian town because she can't stand the pressure brought to bear on herself.
There she works for her Grandfather in the local historical society as well as attending the town's high school. She meets a boy called Jarrod falls in love and tries to pass VCE even though her heart is not in it. On the way, she rekindles old friendships and introduces her best boarding school friend Mia to Jen an old primary school friend. They fall in love and Addie feels she is being left behind. She also finds out why Jarrod is the way he is - his family expecting nothing of him and branding him a "loser".
I liked the writing in this book but it just didn't grab me enough - maybe the John Green loving set will like it but it was a bit "meh" for me. ( )
  nicsreads | Jan 24, 2018 |
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Seventeen-year-old Adelaide is sick of being expected to succeed on other people's terms. She knows she just has to stick it out at school for one more year and then she'll be free. Instead she runs away from her fancy boarding school back to her sleepy hometown to read and dream. But there are no free rides. When Addie's granddad gets her a job at the local historical society, she soon finds out that it's dusty and dull, just like her new life. Things change when she starts hanging out with Jarrod, a boy who seems full of possibilities. But it turns out he's as stuck as she is. And Addie realises that when you want something in life, you've actually got to do something about it.

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