Monday 28 May 2012

149. Holier Than Thou by Laura Buzo

Holier Than Thou by Laura Buzo
Published May 2012 Allen & Unwin

From the publisher:
From the author of Good Oil, this extraordinary, bittersweet novel portrays a slice of Australian city life through an unforgettable girl named Holly who is navigating the nuances and complexities of being in her early 20s.

Here we have another example of this new type of teen fiction that focuses on the lives of characters on their early 20s.  There seem to be more novels coming out that look at life after High School and Uni, the years of moving out of home, first jobs and shifts in friendship groups. Australian authors especially are writing about this time of life, authors like Melina Marchetta, Maureen McCarthy and Steven Herrick to name a few.  

The main character of the book is Holly aka Holier-than-thou.  She is a social worker in suburban Sydney working in the mental health field.  She loves her job, despite it's tendency to wear her down.  She has an amazing boyfriend who she lives with in their very first flat.  She also has a great group of friends that have been together since high school.

The book skips between Holly's life now, life in high school, where we see her friendships develop and a family tragedy that has affected her whole life, her time at uni, and one year earlier when she and Tim first moved into their flat.  We see how everything that has come before makes us into the people that we are.  

For me this book has that real honest gritty feel that we get from Australian film and some TV series like 'Love My Way'. I think that it shows what it's like to be in your early 20s, when you think you know what your life will be and where it's headed, but then life happens and it can bring changes that you never expected.  For Holly, she has unresolved issues with her friend Liam, the boy from high school and Uni who came close to being more than a friend.  He has moved to Canberra, and completely removed himself from her life and that of her friends.  Then there's Nick aka Nicolarse, who works with Holly.  The more time she spends with Nick outside of work, the more she starts to feel the stirrings of something more than friendship.  She has to look at her feelings, and her life and make some decisions.  I really loved this book, although the ending really threw me, I am not sure if I am happy with how it ended or not?  Can't say too much, you will have to read the book.

 **This books has all of the things High School libraries tend to be wary of, sex, drugs and very strong language, so be aware of this if buying for school.

Who will like this book: Girls age 16+
Read it if you like: Queen Kat, Carmel and St Jude Get a Life by Maureen McCarthy

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