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Girl in Between

Books & Guides

Year 11 Hillbrook student Isabella Gockel reviews a novel, set in Rockhampton, which offers reassurance to today’s adolescents through its relatable characters, comedic take, and exploration of themes commonly encountered by our modern-day teenagers

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The world we live in today is full of so many expectations and realities that young people have to face. I was struggling to come to terms with my own circumstances as a high school student who had no clear vision for the future when I came across the novel, Girl in Between, which gave me a new perspective on life and how young people live their lives. Girl in Between is a light-hearted, comedic story by Anna Daniels, an Australian author, and it’s one of the most comforting pieces of literature I’ve ever come across due to its somewhat simple plot that is brought to life with the most intriguing, relatable characters.

The story is told through the eyes of Lucy Crighton, a thirty-two-year-old woman who has just moved back in with her parents and is struggling to make ends meet. She feels as if she is constantly at a crossroads – between relationships, careers, and even cities – and she doesn’t have a plan for what she wants in the future. The only thing keeping Lucy on her feet is her best friend Rosie, who takes her on trips to Japan and London in the hope of inspiring Lucy and giving her an idea of what she wants to do with her life. The novel is set in Rockhampton, Queensland, and it’s littered with enough references to Aussie culture that I couldn’t stop laughing from start to finish. It was these references that enhanced the humour of the story, and made Lucy’s world that much easier to settle into for hours on end.

The plot of the story is as simple as Lucy’s ambitions. The book, however, ties together intricate characters with lovable interactions to create the amusing masterpiece it is. The exploration of themes, such as isolation, uncertainty and friendship, is done so meticulously, and the way the novel threads these characters’ lives together is nothing short of fascinating. Lucy’s personal progression has to be the most significant in the story, and with this character arc comes a retelling of struggles. These struggles are both relatable and funny at times, and they make the characters that much easier to love and appreciate.

Girl in Between combines confusion with comedy, and personal identity with self-discovery. Its genuine nature peeks through every character interaction, and on every single page there is at least one reason to smile. There is no doubt in my mind that the reassurances Girl in Between gave me in terms of discovering my own purpose in life will remain with me for a while, and it is the clever combination of realism and humour that makes this story so fitting as a source of comfort for young people around the world. Girl in Between truly is an uplifting, comforting book, and I highly recommend it to anybody who wants a good laugh, cry, or anything in between.

Girl in Between: by Anna Daniels and published by Allen & Unwin.

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