Look, Melissa Keil is one of Australia’s best YA writers.
I’m just putting that out there. In this one you’ve got two very different perspectives: Sophia, who is a child genius, and Joshua, who is obsessed with magic.
(for all my fellow Pitch Perfect fangirls out there)
Melissa Keil’s books never fail to wow me – the characters, the dialogue, the situations. *whispers* the covers. It’s all perfect.
It’s about a lot of things. Social anxiety. Trying to fit in. Trying to decide what to do with your life. Magic and Houdini and pop culture and science. A cute romance (of course).
I do have to say I wasn’t a HUGE fan of some of the things Sophia does.
At one point her friend Elsie calls her out for being selfish and self-absorbed, and she’s kind of right. But the thing is, you can’t help but love her anyway. She’s such a well-meaning character and her perspective is so real that you kind of forgive her. Or I did, anyway.
And Joshua! I love that he doesn’t care about fitting in at school – he knows who his people are. And I loved the little pieces of magic that he sends to Sophia, in one way or another. There was this nice duality of science and magic that worked really well.
One of the best things about this is Sophia’s interest in science, because we definitely need more girls in YA who are interested in STEM subjects.
Who run the world (girls, obvs.)
Watching Hidden Figures made this more obvious than ever – girls are just as capable as guys. Just overlooked, and not encouraged to pursue those kinds of subjects. So Sophia is a fantastic role model. Props to Melissa Keil for this.
Overall a wonderful story with a little bit of magic.
Aussie YA really is pretty fabulous.
The unsolvable problem: If Sophia is a genius, why can’t she crack the puzzle of what to do with her life?
Fact: Sophia is smart. As in, certified-child-prodigy, breezing-through-uni-subjects-even-though-she’s-only-in-year-twelve smart. This terrifies her, because geniuses have a tendency to end up as recluses and weirdos – and with her current social ineptness, she’s halfway there already.
Truth: Joshua is good at magic tricks, ignoring most things about year twelve, and not thinking at all about life after high school.
Fact: Sophia can’t even talk to her best friend Elsie about her anxieties, because Elsie is firmly focused on her own future – and on plans that will mean leaving Sophia behind.
Truth: Joshua has had a secret crush on Sophia since forever, but he doesn’t have forever to act on it.
Fact: There are some things no amount of genius can prepare you for … and the messiness of the real world is one of them.
Truth: Timing is everything.
– Thanks to Hardie Grant Egmont for the review copy! –
Has anyone seen Hidden Figures? Did you LOVE IT? Also, do you know any magic tricks? I know this great one where I make my car keys disappear. Takes a lot of talent.