BLOG TOUR: Writing Clementine by Kate Gordon

June 27, 2014

Edition: Allen & Unwin Australia Paperback
Release Date: June 25 2014
Pages:  192
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Source: Received as an ARC from Allen & Unwin Australia (Thank you)
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy the book
You said we could write anything we wanted. The first thing that came into our minds. Blue fish, red fish, green fish...

Clementine Darcy is floundering. She wants to be the kind of a fish who swims to the swish of her own fins - upstream, not simply carried along by the current. But she is finding the swirling waters of school and home difficult to navigate: her friendship group is splintering, her brother Fergus won't leave his room, her sister's life is not as perfect as she thought... And then there's the New Boy, who is dapper and intriguing, but hiding secrets of his own.

Clem is desperate for everyone - including herself - to be happy, but she discovers that her idea of helping doesn't always work as well as she imagined.

Can Clem be the girl she wants to be? Will she learn to accept that there are things she can fix and things she cannot? Will she find a way to know the difference?

Hi Guys,
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!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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.

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  1. I'm glad to hear this book got you out of your slump Sunny, it sounds like a cute contemporary! Thanks for the giveaway. I used to write in a diary when I was younger but not anymore.

  2. Great review! I keep hearing good things about this book! :)

    I wrote a lot of diary entries when I was younger, though not so much anymore. Though my blog *is* called Diary of a Teenage Writer... so technically the whole thing is a diary. :P

  3. Wooaah 5 stars?! I'm so glad you liked this one! I can see my copy staring at me so I'll have to read it soon. I have a feeling that I'd really love it. Plus, it's short so that's perfect!

  4. I can't wait to read this one! Sounds like a good one for a cold winter weekend :D I used to keep a diary regularly as a kid but haven't for years, apart from my artist's visual diary, which is not quite the same.

  5. I'm all about the fluffy contemporaries lately. It's so true, they're typically the ones to pull you out of a book funk, and this one sounds really heartwarming. Great review Sunny and thanks for the giveaway.

  6. This one sounds so good - glad you adored it! It's got a really unique concept... What a pity I can't enter the giveaway because I'm from the UK. Darnit! Clem sounds so sweet and definitely a character you'd want to reach through the pages and hug.

    Great review!

  7. Great review Sunny! This sounds really good. A bit like Jaclyn Moriarty's novels, which I love! I need to get reading more contemporaries, especially Aussie YA. Thanks for the giveaway too! I used to keep a diary back in high school, I cringe reading it now!

  8. Never - but my sister was NUTS about hers (needless to say I tried to read it a few times) :D


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