Review Blog

Feb 06 2018

Unrequited by Emma Grey

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Angus and Robinson, 2017. ISBN 9781460755044
(Age: 13+) Romance. Music. Friends. Kat Hartland is studying for her final HSC exams and has no time for a social life, though she does need a partner for the upcoming Formal and to satisfy her passion for music she manages to fit in rehearsals in the chorus of a musical. Her twelve year old twin sisters are fans of world famous boy band 'Unrequited' and have tickets to their Sydney concert. Kat thinks their music is predictable and formulaic and would join an anti-fan club if there was one but when Kat's mother asks her to take them to the concert she reluctantly complies. Their train breaks down leaving the girls distraught until a good looking boy, Kat's age, travelling in their carriage, orders them a taxi, but not before he retrieves her dropped ticket and sees her seat number. To the delight of the twins they just get to the concert in time but Kat pays no attention, listening to her own music selection on her phone, wishing she had got the name of the boy on the train. Unrequited lead singer Angus Marsden notices her in the crowd and tries to find her after the concert, searching for the girl in seat L26. When his search is posted on social media it takes off and everyone is talking about "Elle 26". Joel, the boy from the train tells his best friend about his encounter with a girl he thinks about all the time, the only thing he knows about is her seat number! Both boys are searching for their unknown girl and it seems the whole world is taking an interest while Kat, oblivious, finds herself absorbed in creating her own lyrics dreaming of one day having her music heard on the world stage. Of course there are coincidences, misapprehensions and a villainous rival ensuring we are kept guessing which boy will win the girl of his dreams. However the story is fast paced, smart and funny and it is easy to suspend disbelief and enter into the fairy tale world where dreams just might come true. The story is told from multiple points of view cleverly shifting perspective allowing insight into the aspirations and insecurities of all the characters. Kat is a smart and responsible heroine and she is treated with respect by both of the male characters. There are some romantic scenes but nothing that would keep it off any school library shelf. A delightful book suitable for teenage girls and older readers looking for a bit of escapism.
Sue Speck

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