Gabrielle Tozer writes the kind of wonderful books that focus on teenagers in between.
Her debut The Intern is still one of my favourite books. Mostly because I identify with Josie’s klutziness on a spiritual level. They’re not marketed as NA, but to me they certainly fit into that category. Not quite adult, not quite YA. Something in between.
Her latest book is quite different to The Intern.
There’s a lot less comedy, a lot more grief, a lot of melancholy. I don’t think I liked it quite as much as I did The Intern, but it’s still a pretty incredible book.
Basically in this one you’ve got the summer after high school, you’ve got childhood best friends, you’ve got a bit of tragedy.
Kangaroos, road trips, romance…what else do you need, really? It’s a wonderful exploration of the gap between childhood and adulthood. These days, the gap is widening. Childhood and adulthood is not so clearly defined. And I love how Gabrielle Tozer’s books explore that stage, because it’s something that’s now part of my life, and I feel like there isn’t a lot of literature about it.
Of course we also have the timeless trope of friends to lovers. Aka my favourite trope in the world. And you know what’s better than friends to lovers? CHILDHOOD BEST FRIENDS TO LOVERS.
I was also a big fan of the rural setting.
It’s such an intrinsic part of the Australian landscape, and a refreshing change to the many US and UK YA books I read. There’s nothing like reading a book where your own slang and language is reflected.
It was, unfortunately, painfully obvious that everyone in this book is white/straight/cis. This happens in Aussie YA a lot, and it’s a shame because authors like Steph Bowe show that you can have rural settings and still incorporate diversity (her recent book Night Swimming was absolutely incredible). So I guess that was my only criticism!
Overall, a lovely story about deciding what to do with your life and re-connecting with a childhood best friend.
#LoveOzYA rules, I’ve got to say!
It’s the summer after high school ends and everyone is moving on. Winning scholarships. Heading to uni. Travelling the world. Everyone except Milo Dark. Milo feels his life is stuck on pause. His girlfriend is 200km away, his mates have bailed for bigger things and he is convinced he’s missed the memo reminding him to plan the rest of his life. Then Layla Montgomery barrels back into his world after five years without so much as a text message.
As kids, Milo and Layla were family friends who shared everything – hiding out in her tree house, secrets made at midnight, and sunny afternoons at the river. But they haven’t spoken since her mum’s funeral. Layla’s fallen apart since that day. She pushed away her dad, dropped out of school and recently followed her on-again-off-again boyfriend back to town because she has nowhere else to go. Not that she’s letting on how tough things have been.
What begins as innocent banter between Milo and Layla soon draws them into a tangled mess with a guarantee that someone will get hurt. While it’s a summer they’ll never forget, is it one they want to remember?
~ Thanks to HarperCollins for this review copy! ~
So tell me – what are your favourite NA books? And since this one’s about deciding what you want to do with your life, what’s your dream job?