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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Swerve by Phillip Gwynne

Title: Swerve
Author: Phillip Gwynne

Release Date: 31st August 2009

My Rating: 5/5

17 year-old Hugh has had his whole life mapped out for him. He is an almost nerd (a Ner or Erd) who happens to be one of the country's brightest and most promising cellists. Oh and he has an obsession with everything to do with cars.
A week before the most important audition of his life, Hugh's newly found grandfather decides it is the perfect time to go on a road trip to Uluru, and Hugh's driving...and driving his dream car all the way there, a 1970 Holden HG Monaro GTS 350 V8.
Suddenly, completely out of his sheltered and pampered life, Hugh and Poppy hit the road for an adventure that will open Hugh's eyes to a whole other world! Little does he know that Poppy has an ulterior motive ... one that would take both their lives in a direction they never expected...

I absolutely loved this story and couldn't put it down! The writing is fantastic and it was great to read another YA fiction book that is not fantasy/science fiction or teen angst-y. As Hugh participates in a sort of 'right of passage' road trip from Sydney to the Red Center, he discovers there can be more to life than following all the rules. Gotta love Poppy as well, such a great character!
Reading this book took me back to the YA books I used to read almost 10 years ago, from the fantastic work of Margaret Clark (Care Factor Zero, Back on Track, Living With Leanne, On Ya Sonya), Glyn Parry's Scooter Boy, Jaclyn Moriarty's Feeling Sorry For Celia and Guitar Highway Rose by Brigid Lowry and the books by John Marsden. These were the books that first got me interested in reading when I was 12 or 13 and they still remain some of my favourite books to this day. Swerve took me back to this style of writing and everyday teens living in Australia with their own issues and insecurities. I can't quite explain what made them so special, but they are.


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