Sunday, October 30, 2011
Have you seen Ally Queen
yes, I'm a lazy blogger. sorry :) i did in fact read this a week or so ago :/ so if it's a little vague i apologise.
Title: Have you seen Ally Queen
Author: Deb Fitzpatrick
First Published: 2011 by Fremantle Press
Ally Queen is 15 and not happy. forced to move from her home, friends and well-stocked deli down south go the tiny beach town of Melros near Mandurah. and now they've moved things seem to go from bad to worse. all the kids are bogans and surfies. the only good thing she can find is the beach.
i really enjoyed Have you seen Ally Queen for the most part.
to start with Ally annoyed me a bit, she complained quite a bit and she was Dramatic, but to be fair, teenagers are. i grew to like her though, her voice is genuine and the writing is spot on except for a few words, like poxy. Capitalism and her identity are big themes. as she learns to like herself, you find yourself fond of her too. if you find her annoying to start with it IS worth persisting. 100% worth it.
i quite like that her parents are characters too, more prominently than in most YA. i like that they were flawed!! while they showed Ally's faults the parents weren't perfect, which was nice. so often as a teenager i see something the teenager's doing wrong, often something I've done, and the parents being perfect. the author trying to teach the teen (often nicely) that they're over-reacting or upsetting their parents when they shout. never though have i read a book where the parent and child were both responsible for the fight.
the description in the book was good, especially of Ally's feelings, but i feel Deb Fitzpatrick missed a great opportunity to describe the beautiful beaches and scrubby mountains that are down-south of Perth. i really loved how i could picture it all because these are places i know, or at least roughly. it's so nice have a book set in Western Australia. i love it if other people got a little more of the view.
i found the discussions of the happiness a bit full on, though very interesting. i really took a lot of it to heart. characters with such strong convictions made for an strong story. i loved the deceptions of Ally and Rel's relationship, it was much more realistic than normal in YA. they were friends, and the Love stuff was a little awkward, unsure, but beautiful. the descriptions of some of the things Ally did like mountain climbing and fishing made me jealous. it was familiar of holidays and school camps, and made me want to do things like that more often.
the best thing i can say though, is that it captured Australia's love of the beach in the best way I've read.