Release Date: June 25 2014
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Source: Received as an ARC from Allen & Unwin Australia (Thank you)
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy the book
Today I'm delighted to be hosting a stop on the 'Writing Clementine' by Kate Gordon blog tour. The lovely people at Allen & Unwin have decided one lucky Australian reader should also have the pleasure of one these copies, so I'll be giving one away. The giveaway is sadly only open to Australians, sorry international folks! It's open till Wednesday July 23rd and I can assure you you're gonna wanna enter. Best of luck!
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Writing Clementine by Kate Gordon, I'll admit was a total surprise package. I didn't think it would be so enticing and emotional, one of the first books I've finished in what feels like forever! Clementine Darcy aside from being a totally honest and relatable character, is a 14 year old who simply doesn't fit in. While her long time friends are interested in boys and dieting all Clementine wants is to fix life at home and still have time to write really ace poetry.
Clementine's teacher on her first day of Year 9 tells them to write, with basically no further instruction or detail given. Some days there's a topic and others not. I loved this because it was through these entries Clementine told her story. I wish I had a teacher like Ms Hiller who would make me write each day. I'm starting to notice a lot more diary/letter formatted books and I think it's such an engaging way to tell a story.
I loved Clementine and especially that she wasn't perfect, in fact not one character in this book was! Clem is a daydreamer who doesn't fit in with what magazines are calling 'normal'. But I loved that even though Clementine never fully felt confident enough to be herself, she knew who she was wasn't the issue. She never changed herself to be what others wanted her to be, she just needed to be around people who understood, accepted and loved that. Another reason why I love the message in this book and the journey of self-discovery. And I think these messages and the struggles Clem goes through are really important for the age group this books directed at.
Whilst Writing Clementine was heart-warming and uplifting, maybe even a tincy unrealistic in some aspects, it is in no way a sugar coated story of a 14 year old girl. There are many real and mature issues and themes dealt with in the story. Which we see take quite a big toll on Clementine especially as she feels responsible for many of the complications and tries to fix them all. It was quite sad because every time Clementine felt alone and isolated I felt it also, my heart was breaking for her.
Clementine is just the sort of character that you're rooting for from the get go. I so badly wanted her to be happy and just realise that it wasn't her fault, that she needed better friends and that being herself was okay. I emphasised and sympathised for Clem but I could also identify parts of herself in me, especially as were the same age and same grade. So she felt a bit like a friend.
The relationship that Clementine shared with Fred was so sweet! I mean he was weird but he was just so nice. I loved the easiness between them, it was cute. Though the reason why above I said unrealistic was that I couldn't see someone of my age having such a strong relationship. But ahh omg there were so many times I was smiling from ear to ear (is that the saying), I just loved how Clementine found herself and the support she got from some new friends. Saying that I must say, I wanna join the Steampunk society, it sounds wickedly cool.
I've been in a book slump and this book was one of the first books I've completed in a while. So thank you Kate Gordon, I literally couldn't stop turning the pages of your book. I was mesmerised by the great writing style and strong teen voice. Plus it's Australian YA set in Australia, even better! For a short novel, I felt like it was just the right size and I loved every moment of it.