The Build-Up Season by Megan Jacobson
Seventeen-yearold Iliad is, like her namesake, battle-scarred and battle-ready. After growing up with an abusive father, she jumps at loud noises and is quick to panic, but is also full of attitude and determined to never say sorry. She saw her mother apologise to her father too many times and she never wants to be that person.
Iliad’s father is now in jail, but she, her mother and her gran have an uneasy relationship. They’ve moved house many times and she’s built a protective wall around herself so she never needs to be vulnerable. She doesn’t do friendship and she certainly doesn’t do relationships. She has a prank war with the boy next-door, Max, and only spends time with her one friend at school out of pity. But when she meets aspiring actor Jared, Iliad finds herself feeling more vulnerable than she has been for a long time. What she doesn’t realise is that Jared’s behaviour has more in common with her father’s than she realised.
Set in the sultry, scorching climate of Darwin, this is a beautifully written, compelling story that pulls you along with its strength of character. Megan Jacobson was shortlisted for a CBCA with her first novel, Yellow. This novel is another powerful story that shows the complicated feelings and behaviours that reverberate from domestic violence. Jacobson is definitely an author to watch. Fans of Vikki Wakefield and Claire Zorn will love this novel. Suitable for readers aged 14+.
Angela Crocombe is the Children’s Book Buyer at Readings Kids.