A dark and spooky surfing story

TITLE = NIGHT BEACH

AUTHOR = KIRSTY EAGAR

GENRE = IDENTITY, FRIENDSHIP, ROMANCE

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 11, 12

This is a dark novel. At its heart is a gothic story about supernatural, ghostly elements which have taken over a young surfer (Kane) and are threatening to take over his step-cousin, Abbie. But even darker than this is the undercurrent of violence that lurks behind the surfing world that Abbie and Kane inhabit. From the moment Kane returns to town and punches the local surfing bully, the threat of further violence lingers around the edges of the story as we await to see if the town bully exacts revenge on Kane.

Against this dark backdrop is the central story about Abbie, a lonely girl who is looking for love and lusts after Kane, even though she fears he is not good for her and recognises that her obsession is unlikely to be returned. Abbie comes from a broken home: her dad is loving but he is starting a new family in Brisbane, so Abbie has reluctantly begun living with her Mum who seems aloof at best and critical at worst.  Her sister offers sage advice but she too is largely absent from Abbie’s world as she is off in Canberra studying and exploring her own romances. Abbies’s best friend is holidaying in Darwin and her sole remaining friend is bitter about her obsession with Kane. Whilst the artistic and creative Abbie attempts to make sense of her feelings, and discover the truth behind Kane’s ghostly haunting, she is also trying to complete her HSC project.

Eagar often writes about the surfing world, but in her hands this world has a far more sinister feel than in the world presented by other Aussie authors such as Tim Winton, largely due to the violence and power plays inherent in the male surfing fraternity.

This is dark and compelling novel and has been shortlisted for the Gold Inky 2012 (dma) ***

 

Another one for the girls

starfish sistersSTARFISH SISTERS by J.C’ Burke (BUR)
Genre: Girls Fiction, Friendship, Families
Interest level: Years 10/11

The award-winning author has written many teen novels (including “Faking Sweet” and the cbca winner “The story of Tom Brennan”). The setting for this story is a three week camp for budding female surfers who are seeking entry into the Australian team. The title refers to the name of the room that the four girls are sharing: the starfish room. Alternating chapters allow the girls to each tell the story from their point of view. Georgie is a great talent, she surfs like a boy because she is so strong but her big thighs bring self-doubt: does she still have the fire in her belly, is she scared of competition?? Kia is Georgie’s best friend but she fears her dad does not think highly enough of her and is jealous of Micki, who her dad seems to idolise and who just happens to be his best friend’s daughter. Micki is the youngest at 13 years but she is very talented & tough emotionally (her Mum has died and her Dad is a drug addict so she has had to grow up fast). Ace is talented & pretty, but she knows it; she has received sponsorship already but is her heart still in it? Can she focus on her surfing or is she too distracted by boyfriends – old & new?? All the girls learn more about themselves & each other on the camp. This is an entertaining read – even if you don’t know anything about surfing! pipelines.
A sequel to this novel is expected!!
Note: the book has a dark element – Kia’s fears mean she has a dark & well kept secret of self-harm – dealt with sensitively & realistically.

Highly Recommended (dma). *****

If you enjoyed this book you might also like J C Burke’s take on friendship and revenge: Faking Sweet.