I had the pleasure of meeting Vikki and spending time with her recently while attending her workshop on “Beginnings and Endings”. The workshop was brilliant; although I did learn that the beginning of my book/manuscript that I’m writing is considered a “no go” in the industry – back to the drawing board for me!
Vikki is well known in the industry for her genre – Young Adult (YA). Her books are directed towards readers from 12 – 18 and into early 20’s. As I’m “21”, I felt right at home reading this book. This is the first YA book I have read and to be honest I was a bit sceptical that it was going to be a bit “childish”; but I was left quite astounded by the story and craft that Vikki used to write this book.
The book revolves around the main character “Jack” – short for Jacklin; who lives in the dead beat town of Mobius. She is 17, with the attitude to go with it. She has issues with her parents and lives with her sister who has a big secret. She has dropped out of school and spends her time in the local grocery store and with a character “Mr Broadbent”, who had mental issues. When she isn’t there, she is up in the local forest or hanging out at the old run down Drive -In.
Teenage love is a theme that is used throughout the book. Jack questioning what love is, how it works, why it makes her feel or not feel things. It’s quite the mystery for her. As she struggles to find the answers to the many questions she has, she goes about building new and unexpected friendships and mends damaged, old ones. All Jack wants is to be loved and appreciated and she is sick of waiting for that to happen.
Jack also spends time questioning relationships in general, with her “boyfriend”, a man she befriends that lives in the forest nearby; and her old neighbour who returns for the Christmas break. She is rebellious as most teens are; but she also has a heart of gold. She just struggles to bring the 2 together and be happy. She has the whole heart V’s head dilemma.
As a teen in this stage of your life, there are many things that are questioned, I saw my teenage self in some of the situations and could relate to Jack’s questioning and feelings of thinking you are loosing everything. But there is also a message of hope and faith throughout the book that is delivered beautifully by the character that is living in the forest.
I really enjoyed this book as an adult and I would recommend it for readers of the Young Adult age group, both female and male. The male characters in this book as just as strong as the female ones. Vikki has really documented the true male awkwardness of this age group, individually and how teen boys react around each other; but also how teen girls can react to situations and peer group pressure.
This was a quick and enjoyable read that really filled my heart and took me back to my teen days.