If fourteen-year-old Kirra is having a mid-life crisis now, then it doesn’t bode well for her life expectancy. Her so-called friends bully her, whatever semblance of a mother she had has been drowned at the bottom of a gin bottle ever since her dad left them for another woman, and now a teenage ghost is speaking to her through a broken phone booth. Kirra and the ghost make a pact. She’ll prove who murdered him almost twenty years ago if he does three things for her. He makes her popular, he gets her parents back together, and he doesn’t haunt her. Things aren’t so simple however, and Kirra realises that people can be haunted in more ways than one.
This was a total cover buy for me, seriously how amazing is it!! When I read the synopsis and was on the first page I was a little worried that the book was going to be a bit childish for me, after all Kirra is 14 and I’m 22. Despite the age difference I was able to completely connect to Kirra both from experiences most people go through during all stages of their lives and by remembering what it was like to be her age. I ended up thoroughly enjoying the story, I was shocked at how good it was seeing as it is Megan Jacobson’s debut novel and often debut novels are not that amazing.
Firstly I really enjoyed the Australian nature of this book which was an enjoyable change, most books I read are based in America and their live’s are a little different to us Australians. This book was set in a small beach town in the 90’s which I was able to easily relate to as that is similar to how I grew up, there were a tonne of small references that brought back so many memories from when I was in high school. A lot of books/TV shows/movies, when set in Australia or referencing Australia or Australians, go extremely overboard with Aussie stereotypes and make us seem a bit nuts (P.s. no we do not ride kangaroos). Yellow definitely did not follow this trend, Megan Jacobson did such an excellent job of creating an image for the reader of what life was truly like at that point in time in Australia. At one point in the book I was like “yes!! finally someone can describe Australian life correctly”, it was such a nice change from the occasionally offensive stereotype. I strongly recommend this book to both Aussies and non-Aussies.
This story dealt with a range of important issues that we all face, not just 14 year olds. These issues, such as anxiety, self perception, confidence, depression, addiction and bullying were explored in a realistic and honest way that made the reader able to easily relate to Kirra and some of the other minor characters. The way these issues were presented was intriguing to me as we got to see how the results of them not only impacted upon the person but also upon the people around them, the ripple effect was made very apparent and also got me thinking about the impacts of my choices and actions.
One message that I found very powerful in this story is how we shouldn’t let where we are from, our economic status or what others think of us, affect how we value our self worth and affect what we can strive to achieve. Another topic explored that I enjoyed was about the importance of finding true friends and building strong relationships with them, not settling for what we think we deserve or what is popular. I feel the following quote from the book perfectly shows the importance of true friendship “I know that if the storms do return, well then Willow and I will take turns sheltering each other from the winds, because that’s what friendship is”.
I felt that the ending to this story was very encouraging, especially to teenagers, and I finished the book feeling inspired.
Rating: 5/5 stars