The Edge of Thirteen

Nova Weetman

The Edge of Thirteen
University of Queensland Press
2 March 2021

The Edge of Thirteen

Nova Weetman

Clem Timmins can’t wait to see her best friends after being apart all summer holidays. But when they get back together, things have changed.

Bridge is boy-crazy and acting like a different person. Ellie is wearing a bra and having a real-life romance. Clem feels left behind. When she makes friends with Tom, suddenly everyone’s gossiping about whether they’re going to be a couple. Clem’s got no interest in having a boyfriend. Or does she?

At school camp, Bridge crosses the line and Clem has to ask herself - can she keep growing up with her friends when they’re growing apart?

This story of fitting in and falling out perfectly captures how it feels to balance on the edge of who you are and who you want to be.


A new story from Nova Weetman is always a thrill. The Edge of Thirteen is an evocative story about being on the cusp of puberty and the many challenges that it entails. Weetman effortlessly depicts the world of young women – their confusing emotions, conflicts, burgeoning feelings about sexuality or conversely, the feeling that they are still a child when their friends are all growing up.

It’s a new year and Clem is starting Year 8, excited about joining the running club and keen to hang out with her friends again. But over the summer her two best friends have changed – their bodies are more developed, they have their periods and they’re suddenly interested in boys. Clem feels left behind. When her class goes on a school camp, Clem is needlessly pressured by them to flirt with a boy from school. She also discovers a new friend, who is so different from everyone else and follows her own path.

Many fans of Weetman will recognise Clem from the much-loved novels The Secrets We Share and The Secrets We Keep, and they will be thrilled to discover how her journey continues. Readers new to Clem’s world will immediately empathise with her. This novel is so insightful and pitch perfect that young readers will not be able to stop reading. Perfect for ages 11–14.

Angela Crocombe is the manager of Readings Kids.

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