Review Blog

Nov 10 2015

Risk by Fleur Ferris

cover image

Random House Australia, 2015. ISBN 9780857986474
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended. Online predators. Adolescent. Taylor and Sierra have been best friends forever, but Taylor is annoyed when Sierra always seems to get whatever she wants, regardless of whether she hurts her friends or not. Taylor has had a crush on Callum for ages and was angry that Sierra was supposed to kiss him at a party. When Sierra decides to meet in real life a boy both of them were communicating with online,
Taylor covers for her. When she doesn't come back when she said she would, Taylor thinks that it is just Sierra being careless, and doesn't tell anyone.
This is a really gripping story told in Taylor's voice. The reader is carried along, knowing that Sierra is taking awful risks in meeting someone from online and when she doesn't come home, the reader is flung into a dark place, hoping against hope that she will make it back safely. On the terrible wait, much is learnt about how online predators can hide their identity and lure young girls into trusting them. Details are given about how they learn about their likes and dislikes, where they shop, the sports they play and their friends. All this knowledge is used to create a persona that will appeal to the girl, making her feel as if she has met her soul mate.
It is easy to empathise with Taylor who has always felt that Sierra is the centre of attention and understand why Sierra's friends believe that Sierra could be acting in her usual selfish manner. The jealousies, romances and relationships of teens all resonate and make the story feel as if is real. Ferris has captured the dilemma of when a friend should alert adults to their friend's behaviour and why it can be dangerous not to. All the characters, adult and teens, carry guilt about their actions, and this is explored in-depth as well.
Ferris has built up a very credible story and her background as a police officer and paramedic give it authenticity. The police scenes were really well done and would be an eye-opener for teens who haven't dealt with the police.
This was a compelling read. It would be a powerful class novel or literature circle book as it relates directly to the use of social media and the online world that is such a pivotal part of teen life.
Pat Pledger

BUY IT NOW ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
CBCA shortlists 2017
2017 ABIA longlist
The Stella Prize shortlist for 2017
YA Book Prize 2017 shortlist
Reading Children's book prize shortlist
Indie Book Awards 2017
CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 shortlist
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 shortlist
School Library Association Information Book Award 2017
2017 UKLA Book Awards shortlists
International Children's Book Day 2nd April, 2017
National Simultaneous Storytime 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
Science fiction and fantasy lists SAETA conference 2015
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Books for boys
Bookmark and poster templates