Review Blog

May 17 2018

Amelia Westlake by Erin Gough

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Hardie Grant Egmont, 2018. ISBN 9781760127152
(Age: Senior secondary - Adult) Highly recommended. Themes: Romance. LGBT. Young adult. Contemporary drama. Australia. High school. Sydney, Australia, in 2016, is set for all to see in this brilliant new age novel by Erin Gough. This story was loosely based on a hoax that the author and two other students created in their senior year of high school, however their series of 'pranks' were not political like the novel but more mischievous.
For senior student prefect at Rosemead Grammar, Harriet Price, life was forever changed when she ran into Will Everhart, the social justice trooper at an after school hours' detention. Through a concerning comment both girls witnessed their PE teacher make that goes unnoticed, the girls united and the odd duo was born. They formulate a feminist plan during the detention where they combined Will's art skills and Harriet's literature abilities to create a cartoon to be submitted to the school newspaper under the pseudonym Amelia Westlake, calling out Coach Hadley's obscene remarks. After the girls get a taste of victory they decide to start calling out more problems within Rosemead Grammar, and get to know each other better. We watch their relationship blossom, while they try to overcome their fears, decipher what they want from this hoax and re-evaluate their current situations. But with not being entirely careful with their plans, having the principal on their tails, and risking their education, how will they pull through? This emotional but well written journey of the two girls gives the LGBTQ+ youth a solid platform to relate to.
Emily V. (Student)

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