Tag Archives: young love

Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band by Emma Grey

Standard

IMG_2538Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band by Emma Grey, paperback novel, 233 pages, published in 2014.

Kat is a seventeen year old in Sydney with a passion for music, just not that produced by the biggest boy band in the world, Unrequited. When her mother gets delayed on a work trip, Kat has to escort her younger sisters, who are huge fans, to an Unrequited concert. Kat can think of a million different things she would prefer to be doing, like studying for her final exams or listening to her favourite band, 5 Seconds of Summer. A chance encounter with a cute boy on the train might just make up for the backstage passes to Unrequited, but will she see him again? The lead singer of Unrequited, Angus, seems to be staring at her during the concert. Could he really have noticed her out of the thousands of fans at the concert, and is she interested anyway?

A modern day Cinderella story, Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band read like a romantic comedy for teenagers. The hope of love and success and doing what you love, teenage desires finding reality. This was an uplifting read that I will probably indulge in again! If I didn’t have small children, I would have stayed up late to finish Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band. I really got into the story and wanted to keep reading without interruption, I wanted to know who Kat would choose and what would happen with her music.

The awkward situation of a love triangle (or quadrilateral) happens often, just not normally with the added complication of a very famous singer. So while this story has a slightly exaggerated fantasy feel to it, it was easy to see parallels to real life situations and people. I especially liked Kat as a character, she was different. A teenager without the conformity of a teenager, unconscious of her own abilities and magnetism, it made her enigmatic and interesting.  Angus, with his fame and money, as well as the ability to choose any of the girls that were throwing themselves at him, finds the one girl that doesn’t seem remotely interested and pursues her relentlessly. At first, I found this to be a bit arrogant, as it felt a bit like Kat would be just a conquest for him. However, I warmed to Angus after a while, though Joel seemed much more like your average Knight in Shining Armour that should win the girl’s heart.

Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band is a young adult novel, but I think kids from upper primary would find this a suitable read. I really enjoyed it, though I wasn’t much into pop culture as a teen, and am even less so now. After a few references to 5 Seconds of Summer and Douglas Booth, I realised that they might be real people. I used Google to confirm my suspicions, and then had a few moments of feeling rather old! Still, this book made me feel happy and optimistic.

I picked up a signed copy of Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band from Canty’s Bookshop in Fyshwick, Canberra, but it is also available online at Unrequited.com,au. You can read the first few chapters online too.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Standard

IMG_2509The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, paperback novel, 313 pages, published by the Penguin Group in 2012.

Since Hazel was diagnosed with terminal cancer, she has withdrawn from school, her friends and from the world in general. Her parents fuss over her and encourage her along to the Cancer Kids Support Group at a nearby church hall. The group is constantly changing as some of the kids have treatment or pass on. Regular support group goer, Isaac, brings along his friend Augustus Waters, a cancer survivor, for support one evening, and Hazel’s life changes dramatically.

The Fault is Our Stars is a poignant tale of love, death and life. Hazel and Augustus are living with death just over the horizon, and they try to live well, for themselves, each other and their families, though they face many more challenges than the average teenager.

Augustus and Hazel are not average teenagers, and I found them to be more sophisticated in their life views and speech. The obstacles that they have encountered have matured and changed them despite their youth. I liked them. I enjoyed their banter, and the way they were together. I liked Augustus’ terrible driving and his sense of humour, I liked Hazel’s intelligence and composure, her tenacity and her laughter. And I completely understand Hazel’s obsession with the book she has re-read dozens of times, and her intense desire to know what happened after the story ended so abruptly. The characters had taken on life for her, as so many characters do for me. Hazel and Augustus came out of the book as I read, making their journey part of my life too.

Beautifully written, insightful and real, this emotional story will stay will me forever. I laughed and I cried and cried, and had to put the book down for a couple of days before I felt like I could finish it. And all the while I was thinking about Augustus and Hazel, and how I wanted them to grow old together, to laugh and love and be together into a future where I know they can not venture. They did not waste the time they did have together, and this is a reminder to live our days to the full and not to let opportunity slip by.

I think the themes in The Fault in Our Stars may be too overwhelming for most primary school students, so this is a book best left to read in high school or beyond. It is a book that will touch you, that will remind you that life is precious, and that will make you want to hug your kids tight and never let go. Read it and let Hazel and Augustus into your heart.