Thursday, October 18, 2012

Book Review: The Big Smoke, by Cally Jackson

Ceara’s desperate for love; Seb’s desperate to get laid. Ceara adores reading novels; Seb hasn’t finished a book in years. Two strangers, both moving from small country towns to Brisbane – the big smoke. As they prepare to attend the same university, their paths seem set to collide, but they keep missing each other. Maybe fate is keeping them apart, or maybe it’s just chance.

When the semester starts, things get complicated. Ceara’s best friend withdraws from her, Seb’s closest mate turns into a sleazebag, and the relentless demands of university make their stress levels soar. Before their first semester is over, both Seb and Ceara will be forced to question who they are and what they want from their lives. Will they have the courage to find the answers, or will they crumble under the pressure? And when they finally meet, will it be love at first sight or a collision of headstrong personalities?


(Summary from Goodreads)

THE GOOD: Relationships, romance, drama, humour, heartbreak, coming of age--this book has a lot packed into it! It's a long book. Not long in a this-story-is-dragging-on-forever-I-wish-it-would-end kinda way. No, no, no. Long in a I-scored-two-awesome-books-in-one kinda way!! The chapters alternate between Seb and Ceara, two very different characters with distinctive voices. They're heading off to university with all their hopes, dreams, fears and expectations--which is already a lot to deal with before you add in the ordeals life is about to throw at them: eating disorders, horrible house mates, broken friendships, and more.

Ceara is the reserved, bookish type, so I identified pretty well with her ;-) And Seb ... well, he's a guy! I've obviously never been inside the head of a boy (duh!), but it seemed like the author did a great job of getting inside Seb's head. I LOVE reading a story from two points of view, and it was fascinating to see all the threads of these two separate lives interweaving, criss-crossing, just missing, and then finally coming together (how and when? I'm not going to tell you that. You have to read it for yourself!).

THE BAD: There really isn't anything to say here. I read an early ARC, so I can't comment on the absence or presence of typos or grammatical errors in the final version. (But I can tell you that the author is something of a perfectionist!)

THE PRETTY: I just love this cover. It's different from a lot of other covers out there. It's more arty, which is cool. And I LOVE the lights and the hazy reflection in the water!

So, if you're a fan of contemporary upper YA or NA, you should definitely check this one out when it's released later this month :-)


9 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Cally will be thrilled with that review!

Cherie Reich said...

Fantastic review! It looks like a great book, and I do really love the cover.

Ink in the Book said...

sounds like an interesting book with great view points. And the cover is indeed inspiring!

Melissa said...

Ooo. Now I REALLY want to read it. :)

Cynthia said...

Cool to see another NA book out there....btw, I saw your book, The Faerie Guardian, mentioned a few times in bloggers' posts for the Did I Notice Your Book blogfest this week.

Cally Jackson said...

Thanks so much for the fantastic review, Rachel. SO glad you enjoyed The Big Smoke!

Gwen Gardner said...

Awesome cover and great review! Thanks for sharing, Rachel:)

The Golden Eagle said...

Thanks for the review! :) Great to see Cally's book in the blogosphere.

Emilyann Girdner said...

I am getting excited about this one. Not surprised it got a great review because it sounds amazing =)