Thursday, 17 October 2013

Counting Down: My Top Five

5. Scatterheart - Lili Wilkinson

Plot:

Hanna Cheshire is the spoilt daughter of a wealthy businessman. She has been served on her entire life and tutored by young Thomas, who lets her know of the world outside her home.

Hanna suddenly becomes abandoned and must fend for herself. Before she understands what is happening, she placed into jail and shipped off to Australia as a convict for a crime she didn't commit.

The story of Hanna's journey across the seas unfolds into a story of her growth as a person and a romance that was never meant to happen.

Reason:

This is a story that has stayed with me ever since I was young. Ok, not that young but still just in my teens.

It's got a pretty simple plot line but has a level of complexity that makes it intriguing and memorable. Hannah's led a  pretty sheltered life so when she realises how bleak the world actually is, compared to the usual fairytales, it becomes a life lesson. I felt like I travelled along with her across the seas and everything that she experienced left a mark with me.

There are characters who still, after all this time, have a place somewhere in my heart (?). I found that Hannah was more of a vehicle than an actual character but whilst I was reading it, it didn't bother me. She definitely drove the plot with her first person view. It was the people around her that I developed an emotional attachment with,  especially Meg. In the story, she becomes like a mother/sisterly figure for Hannah and is downright badass as well.

I would say there are moments that might not be so appropriate for younger readers, depending on what you've been exposed to. Those that left an impact for me are the heartbreaking ones, which I think made the novel so much stronger. It's never smooth sailing and Hannah learns that during her time on sea. It creates a realistic world, not necessarily relatable but in a world readers will know.

Don't mistake Scatterheart to just be about the soppy romance. It's about finding identity, trust in the people around you and most importantly, being yourself. It probably is a bit more on the girly side, not saying boys can't read it, but it's just gorgeous and there's the bonus of a tale/myth being told as the title of each chapter.

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