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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Have You Seen Ally Queen? by Deb Fitzpatrick

Title: Have You Seen Ally Queen?
Author: Deb Fitzpatrick

Release Date: 1st September 2011

My Rating: 3/5

Ally Queen is fifteen, flat-chested and totally trapped in a tiny coastal town where the Killer Pythons are stale and there are only three types of people: bogans, surfies and spinach-munching hippies. How could her parents ever have thought moving to Melros was a good idea?

With her best friend miles away, and deep-and-meaningfuls only as long as a text message, it's a bad time for Ally to be having a personality crisis. She's torn between who she is and who she wants to be. No wonder she doesn't have a boyfriend - unless you count the irritating guy on the school bus who seems to be keen on her.

But first impressions can be deceptive...

In A Nutshell:
A realistic and relevant book for girls aged 13+ set in a fictional West Australian coastal town.

My Review:
Poor Ally Queen. At fifteen, she is struggling with the feelings of how unfair being a teenager can be when you don’t have control over your life. Her parents have uprooted her, and her little brother Jerry, to live in a small coastal town an hour south of Perth, Western Australia. Not only does she have to change schools, but she has to adjust to a whole new way of living.

For Ally, all she sees is that she has been pulled away from everything she is used to and separated from her friends. She doesn’t care about why they have moved or what the so-called benefits of living in Melros are, she just concentrates on the fact that she hates it.

Fifteen is a difficult, awkward and confusing time for a girl and Ally really struggles with feeling so out of place, especially since her family appears to be fitting in so well. She’s emotional and lashes out at those around her, even when she tries not to.

Ally is actually pretty unlikeable initially. She is selfish and whines all the time about how much she hates her life and how it’s all her parent’s fault. That said, I would be just as annoyed if my parents forced me to leave my home town and move somewhere where I didn’t know anyone. As a teenager, it’s often difficult to look beyond yourself and consider others, especially when the reasons for the change are not fully explained to you, as in Ally’s case.

The novel looks at how people deal with change and has Ally trying to cope with being bullied at her new school. It looks at how a family is affected and tries to manage with a loved one who is suffering post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The setting was beautifully written and it was nice to read a book set in areas I know (I live in Perth, the city were Ally has moved from) and many of the locations that are talked about I am quite familiar with. One of the only things that annoyed me was that I thought some of the language Ally used was a little bit too stereotypically Australian which I don’t necessarily think a city girl would use.

Overall, a realistic and relevant book for girls aged 13+

Also by Deb Fitzpatrick: 90 Packets of Instant Noodles


  1. Excellent review Jess, I really liked this book too :) PS - hope you are feeling better my little one

  2. Sounds like this was more your type of book than it was mine. I agree that the setting was great, though. I don't have a lot of knowledge of WA, but the beach-side town fit in well with the ones I know in Vic :)


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