Review Blog

Jul 27 2012

The colour of trouble by Gerry Bobsien

cover image

Walker Books, 2012 249 pp. ISBN 9781921720840.
(Age: 14+) Recommended. Maddy's life is going well. She has a passion for art, a great teacher, a use of a studio, and a successful on-line business, Make-Do where she and mate Darcy sell fashions made from recycled fabrics. Plus she had just bumped into Max, an interesting musician. Her synesthesia, where colours are infused with sound, and sometimes taste, in her imagination feeds into her feelings for art and fashion. True, her mum is working away from home and she doesn't know her dad, but her grandparent guardians are both loving and supportive, she has good friends, a twin brother and talent.
But Maddy wants attention and notoriety. She gets a taste for it when the local newspaper picks up on her DON'T LOOK UP slogans stencilled on the pavement next to posters of faces looking up. So when she happens upon an Impressionistic painting in a skip on 'chuck-out day' she isn't just captivated by it but impelled to copy it. She then enters the copy in an art exhibition under a false identity. This unravels a can of worms of the cyber fraud and forgery variety. On top of this trouble, Maddy finds Darcy has hooked up with another girl.
Teen relationships and the modern family model feature in this very contemporary novel. It's about being naive, needing attention and making mistakes but learning and growing. Chapter headings as art essay topics are an original feature. Bobsein writes about teens with a passion - it was surfing in Surfache and here it's for colour and art. Those who enjoyed the award-winning Graffiti Moon would also enjoy this novel.
Kevyna Gardner

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