Review Blog

Oct 21 2012

Finding Freia Lockhart by Aimee Said

cover image

Walker Books, 2010. ISBN 9781 921529 15 3.
(Ages 12+) Recommended. Schools. Relationships. Friea is the runt. She did not expect to be accepted by the cool group in her year ten cohort at Westside Girls Grammar School, but she finds herself to be a member of the Bs, the group of three B named girls, Belinda, Brianna and Bethanee, with Kate, good old Kate, the wannabe, tagging along behind. As Freia and Kate knew each other at their last school, Freia finds herself aligned to this group, with their scathing attitudes towards others in the school, and their sometimes grudging acceptance of her. But Freia's relationship with Kate is crumbling, as Kate tries to get closer to the Bs.
With the school play, My Fair Lady, beginning rehearsals, Freia has found herself pushed into the audition, and not winning a stage part, has been relegated to help with the lighting. Here she comes across Daniel, a heavily fringed boy from Parkville Boys High School, the state school across the way, and finds that she will be his assistant. She has already noticed him in the cafe where she meets her tutor, Nicky, hired by her parents when they found that she was not gaining the marks they expected her to attain at high school.
Her mother particularly tries to raise Freia by the book, trying to do the best as an older parent.
Having to read Pride and Prejudice does not thrill her and she finds herself talking to and working with one of the girls seen as on the outer by her group. Things are changing for Freia, she has begun to take notice of the things the Bs say about other people and is making choices for herself, rather than to suit them. The theme of not accepting things as they seem is neatly reiterated with the Jane Austen book as well as My Fair Lady.
This is a funny, acerbic look at teenage girls, full of humour and pithy comments about the society in which they mix, their parents' aspirations, the relationships with each other and those around them, their dress, their values and their views on life. It is very recognisable and will draw a smile and a laugh from its readers, wanting to follow Freia's journey from being the runt of the group to someone standing on her own two feet with the strength to say no.
A wholly satisfying story of growing up, a coming of age story (Bildungsroman) which could be easily compared with others of its ilk, (Will by Maria Boyd, Chasing Charlie Duskin by Cath Crowley,
Finding Grace by Alyssa Brugman and Losing it by Julia Lawrinson and so on).
Fran Knight

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