Review Blog

Jun 24 2012

Preloved by Shirley Marr

cover image

Black Dog Books, 2012. ISBN 9781742931903.
(Age 12+) Recommended. Amy always feels as if her glamorous friend Rebecca sidelines her. To add to her woes she has a Chinese mother who is always coming out with strange superstitions. She is obsessed with stuff from the 1980s, and helping her mother in their vintage store is not a great chore. When she comes across a silver locket with a photo of a boy dressed in authentic 80s clothes, her life is turned upside. Logan is the ghost of a boy from the Eighties and even though it is obvious that he was meant to haunt Rebecca, Amy becomes obsessed with this annoying and persistent ghost.
Preloved is a really interesting story with fabulous characters that were quite different to many found in young adult books. The loving but sometimes irritable, relationship between Amy and her Chinese mother, who is a firm believer in ghosts and has many stories about them, comes across as real and authentic. Rebecca is a strange girl and seems to be a poor choice for a best friend, and Logan's character and story are fascinating.
I loved the humour in this book. Amy's smart comments were a joy to read and kept me entertained throughout the book. Readers who like the 80's period, will love the references to The Princess Bride and the clothes and culture of the period. They will also enjoy the references to the contents of the vintage shop and the idea that preloved things can be loved again
It is difficult to categorise Preloved. It is not a standard ghost story or a standard adolescent novel. It is part a coming of age story, part romance and part an exploration of family and succeeds very well as an unusual and interesting read.
Pat Pledger

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals 2018
National Book Award winners 2017
Speech Pathology Book of the Year Awards 2017
YABBA Awards 2017
Teens' top 10
2017 Man Booker Prize
Australian Family Therapists' Award for Children's Literature 2017 winners
2017 Children's Peace Literature Award Short List
Inkys Awards 2017
2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award
2017 NSW Premier's History Awards
The Queensland Literary Awards 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Bookmark and poster templates