Review Blog

Sep 01 2014

Quincy Jordan by Jen Storer

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Crystal Bay Girls bk 1. Puffin, 2014. ISBN 9780143307594.
(Age: 10+) Quincy Jordan is an ideal heroine for tweens in middle school but YA readers will also get a kick out of her dramas. Plucked out of her private girl's school in Sydney by her deserted mother looking for a sea-change after her separation, 14 yr old Quincy comes of age in Crystal Bay. The first half of the book deals with her old life and friendships in Sydney, her father's infidelity and her mother's subsequent depression.
Upon arrival in Crystal Bay, which is reminiscent of Byron Bay, Quincy, is still reeling from family breakup. Both mother and daughter rediscover themselves with the help of Quincy's estranged aunt and cousins. Crystal Bay high is a co-ed school and adolescent boys both shock and amuse our narrator and her readers:
'I am transfixed. I am studying them like a BBC nature expert: Only in an Australian school ground do we find this rare and only partially evolved species. Fera-simia. Feral ape.'
Quincy finds hitherto unrealised satisfaction in designing the costumes for the school musical regardless of her long-held assertion that she should follow her father's footsteps into medical school and despite fainting at the sight of blood. Her outgoing cousin Esme; and Harris, her first love interest who conveniently returns her affections, generate new challenges and help Quincy begin to define herself.
Jen Storer's endpapers, complete with a Quincy style guide and glossary, sets the tone for an engaging young teenage series. Readers were never told the back story between Quincy and her nemesis, Satin and have yet to discover the outcome of the unresolved rift with her father. But even if these questions are never answered, the ripe lives of all the Crystal Bay Girls, have barely been touched upon and are sure to provide many more thrills and spills.
Deb Robins

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