Green Valentine

Lili Wilkinson

Green Valentine
Allen & Unwin
29 July 2015

Green Valentine

Lili Wilkinson

When Astrid and Hiro meet they give each other superhero names. She’s Lobster Girl and he’s Shopping Trolley Boy. Not an auspicious beginning. But it gets better. Then it gets worse. Much worse. Classic romantic comedy: girl-meets-boy, love blossoms, and is derailed. Incredibly engaging, upbeat, funny and smart.

Astrid Katy Smythe is beautiful, smart and popular. She’s a straight-A student and a committed environmental activist. She’s basically perfect.

Hiro is the opposite of perfect. He’s slouchy, rude and resentful. Despite his brains, he doesn’t see the point of school.

But when Astrid meets Hiro at the shopping centre where he’s wrangling shopping trolleys, he doesn’t recognise her because she’s in disguise - as a lobster. And she doesn’t set him straight.

Astrid wants to change the world, Hiro wants to survive it. But ultimately both believe that the world needs to be saved from itself. Can they find enough in common to right all the wrongs between them?

A romantic comedy about life and love and trying to make the planet a better place, with a little heartbreak, and a whole lot of hilarity.


Lili Wilkinson, you’ve done it again! Not only have you created a brilliant love story that is unique and sexy, you have brought to YA fiction global environmental issues as well as the importance (and fun) that gardening brings to oneself and to communities. Astrid is hell-bent on trying to bring awareness to her dull community on the environmental impact everyone’s choices make and how we can all help to save the planet. However, she is trying to do this in a lobster suit, which, needless to say, isn’t working. But it does get the attention of one very cute boy named Hiro, who isn’t really interested in the environment, he’s more interested in who’s under the lobster suit.

Another chance encounter at school brings these two together and what ensues is the epitome of cool … Guerilla Gardening. Taking the peaceful activist approach in tackling political events starts to get the community talking, however both Astrid and Hiro have different ideas on where they want their activism, and lives, to go and conflict soon arises.

Green Valentine is not only a page-turner full of romance and friendship, it’s also about caring for something so massive that it sometimes it feels like you can never win. I’m so excited to have a book that brings environmental issues (and midnight gardening) to teens that I can barely contain myself. Read it, it’s brilliant. Ages 14 and up.

Katherine Dretzke

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