Alyzon Whitestarr by Isobelle Carmody

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Ford Street, 2016. ISBN 9781925272185
(Age: 13+) Recommended. Alyzon feels like she doesn't fit in her family. She doesn't have her mother's artistic ability or her father's musical ability like her brother or sisters. She is just Alyzon. One day while holding her baby brother, the car boot falls onto her head knocking her unconscious. After being in a coma for a month she awakens with new sensations. She can smell feelings, her hearing and sight are heightened and being touched let her see other people's memories. At school she becomes friends with Gilly because she is drawn to her seaside smell, but the boy she has had a crush on for years smells like rancid rubbish. With these new heightened senses she uncovers dark family secrets and hidden ambitions that threaten to her family.
I have loved Isobelle Carmody's other books and was excited to read this one. I found the story line interesting and easy to follow but was frustrated with the interaction some of the characters had with Alyzon. However as the story progressed it is explained why these characters seemed so one dimensional. The way Carmody used Alyzon's new abilities to describe the characters gives the reader a new way through smells to bring them to life. This book could have been better with a sequel as it left many loose ends. It is a good story about good winning over evil and how a person can stand up to evil by staying true to themselves.
Jody Holmes