March 15, 2014

Steal My Sunshine by Emily Gale (Review)

Title: Steal My Sunshine
Author: Emily Gale
Release date: May 1, 2013
Publisher: Random House Australia
Genre: YA contemporary, Cultural (Australia)
Buy on: Amazon |

During a Melbourne heatwave, Hannah's family life begins to distort beyond her deepest fears. It's going to take more than a cool change to fix it, but how can a girl who lives in the shadows take on the task alone? Feeling powerless and invisible, Hannah seeks refuge in the two anarchists of her life: her wild best friend, Chloe, and her eccentric grandmother, Essie, who look like they know how life really works. But Hannah's loyalty to both is tested, first by her attraction to Chloe's older brother, and then by Essie's devastating secret that sheds new light on how the family has lost its way. Even if Hannah doesn't know what to believe in, she'd better start believing in herself.

The book is about Hannah and how the only people she can get along with well are her best friend Chloe and her eccentric grandmother Essie. When nothing seems to go right in her life she runs to her grandmother Essie and over a period of time hears stories about her past.

The main character Hannah is a typical teenage character, just trying to find her way in a world and discovering who she really wants to be. The relationship with her family is a bit strained and the only person she can get along with well in the house is her father who leaves after the marriage with her mother doesn’t work out. She also realizes her friendship with Chloe isn’t as perfect as it seems, since she always tells her that other people have it worse, which is pretty much the last thing Hannah wants to hear when she talks about her problems

The problem with the character Essie as a reader is that you wonder how much you can trust her. Hannah is basically her grandmother's number one fan (especially since no one else in the family cares about her grandmother), but during the story you find out multiple times Essie tends to lie and is also manipulative. Though in the end, I do think that a lot of what she told Hannah is the truth.

In my opinion, the 'romance' part could as well have been left out of the book. For me it didn't add anything to the story at all. What I found most important about the book was Hannah finding herself and finding out about her grandmother's and Australia's past.

All in all it is a good read.

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