Wildlife

Fiona Wood

Wildlife
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Wildlife

Fiona Wood

WINNER OF THE 2014 CBCA AWARD FOR OLDER READERS


Life? It’s simple: be true to yourself.

The tricky part is finding out exactly who you are…

In the holidays before the dreaded term at Crowthorne Grammar’s outdoor education camp two things out of the ordinary happened.

A picture of me was plastered all over a twenty-metre billboard.

And I kissed Ben Capaldi.”

Boarding for a term in the wilderness, sixteen-year-old Sibylla expects the gruesome outdoor education program - but friendship complications, and love that goes wrong? They’re extra-curricula.

Enter Lou from Six Impossible Things - the reluctant new girl for this term in the great outdoors. Fragile behind an implacable mask, she is grieving a death that occurred almost a year ago. Despite herself, Lou becomes intrigued by the unfolding drama between her housemates Sibylla and Holly, and has to decide whether to end her self-imposed detachment and join the fray.

And as Sibylla confronts a tangle of betrayal, she needs to renegotiate everything she thought she knew about surviving in the wild.

A story about first love, friendship and NOT fitting in.

Review

It’s the term of all terms for the year tens at Crowthorne Grammar as they embark on their school’s annual outdoor education camp, tucked away in the Victorian bush. As if it’s not enough to be surrounded by your classmates 24/7 and made to tackle the wilderness, Sibylla is also getting used to her newfound fame that stemmed from a perfume ad that she modelled for over the school holidays. Plus, there’s Ben Capaldi, and the kiss. Really, everything should be perfect, but as the term progresses and friendships and morals are questioned, Sibylla has to think about what and who is really important in her life.

Watching all this is Sibylla’s roommate Lou (from Fiona Wood’s first novel, Six Impossible Things). Lou is dealing with a death that has torn her apart, and she has decided to move to Crowthorne Grammar instead of going on exchange to France. Reserved and hiding in her own world, Lou finds herself slowly becoming more intrigued at the drama that is Sibylla’s life.

Wildlife is wonderful. Fiona Wood has once again created a quirky and intelligent novel for young adults, with characters that question friendships, learn that fitting in isn’t everything and tackle that scary thing called first love. Highly recommended for ages 14 and up.


Katherine Dretzke is a bookseller at Readings Hawthorn.

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