Paradise Girl by Phill Featherstone
|Paradise Girl by Phill Featherstone|
|Category: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Despite one or two plot holes and a little too much romance for some Paradise Girl is a gripping read and will find an appreciative audience.|
|Buy? No||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 288||Date: January 2017|
|External links: Author's website|
Kerryl lives far away from the urban twenty-first century on a remote Yorkshire farm. The farm is high up on a hill and it's a family endeavour - grandparents, mother, Kerryl. There's a market town below but Kerryl's family is concentrated on the farm and the hard but beautiful living associated with it. Kerryl, though, is a fiercely bright girl - she's won a place at Cambridge University and is looking forward to going. She loves poetry.
But this ambition is put on a very back burner when a new and deadly virus sweeps the world. With a ten-day incubation period, it begins in Africa, makes its way into Europe and then, finally, hops the Channel to Britain. Suddenly Kerryl, our Paradise Girl is no longer living in paradise. Barely anyone survives the virus and, when a stranger finds his way to Kerryl's farm, he infects the family and soon, Kerryl is the only one left alive.
She tries to keep up the farm. And she deals with her isolation by writing a diary, addressing it to to "Adam", an imaginary figure representing her ideal boyfriend. But the isolation preys on Kerryl and it blurs the distinction between fact and fiction. Soon, Adam becomes real to her and, as communications with the outside world break down, Kerryl comes to believe that the texts she is receiving really do come from Adam. And she arranges a meeting...
I like a good dystopian YA novel - a young person living through the breakdown of society always makes for a good story. And we're all worried about a deadly virus that defeats science, aren't we? Think of our reactions to avian flu scares and the like.Paradise Girl captures this existential threat exceptionally well and it pits one, rather romantic but also determined, young girl against it. Who wouldn't root for Kerryl?
A dedicated romantic with no boys left to crush on, what else is Kerryl to do but channel her adolescent emotions into an imaginary boy? And left all alone in the world, why wouldn't she come to think of him as real? But what is the truth about Adam and those mysterious, impossible texts? I don't do spoilers so I can't tell you, but I will say that the ending of Paradise Girl has an element of ambiguity about it. A clever choice by Featherstone because it really makes you think.
Perhaps a little too romantic for some and there are one or two plot holes, but Paradise Girl is a gripping read and will find an appreciative audience.
If dystopian fiction is your keep-me-awake cup-of-tea, then we can recommend Black Moon by Kenneth Calhoun
You can read more book reviews or buy Paradise Girl by Phill Featherstone at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Paradise Girl by Phill Featherstone at Amazon.com.
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