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The Comet Box

3.43  ·  Rating Details  ·  51 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Tense and moving novel, set in the new housing estates of 1980s Melbourne – the heart of the Australian suburban dream. It’s as well-written, psychologically true and compulsively readable as Adrian’s first novel, Broken Glass, but the central characters in The Comet Box could be you or your friend or anyone in your class – what happens to them could happen to any one of u ...more
Paperback, 259 pages
Published June 2011 by Penguin (first published May 25th 2011)
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Froi of the Exiles by Melina MarchettaBurn Bright by Marianne de PierresEnticed by Jessica ShirvingtonBlood Song by Rhiannon HartHades by Alexandra Adornetto
2011 Aussie YA releases
17th out of 56 books — 190 voters
The Body at the Tower by Y.S. LeeFirst Light by Rebecca SteadBright Young Things by Anna GodbersenNo and Me by Delphine de ViganBlack Painted Fingernails by Steven Herrick
Inky Awards Longlist 2011
13th out of 20 books — 1 voter


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 193)
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Nomes
May 25, 2011 Nomes rated it liked it
I was so looking forward to Adrian Stirling's sophomore novel after pretty much being blown away by his debut Broken Glass by Adrian Stirling. My expectations were high and he absolutely delivered.

The Comet Box is quite different in tone and atmosphere to Broken Glass. In Broken Glass, Stirling nails that gritty, claustrophobic and tight knit feel of a dusty small country town community. It was a sensory and gripping read, tense, vivid, absorbing and featured an astonishing climax.

While the Comet Box is different in setting,
...more
Emily
Jun 21, 2011 Emily rated it did not like it
Shelves: aussie-ya
I wanted to like this novel so much because it has three things I really love - it's got a teen boy for the central character, it's YA and it's Aussie. Despite all that, I didn't enjoy The Comet Box at all.

I had numerous gripes with this book but I'll just list the main ones. First up, the writing didn't make me feel anything. When Andrew, the protagonist, shivered or laughed or cried I didn't feel the need to shiver, laugh or cry along with him. And the number of times the author wrote 'It was
...more
Jess - The Tales Compendium
May 27, 2011 Jess - The Tales Compendium rated it really liked it
Shelves: aussie, contemporary
The Comet Box is the story of one boy as he searches for answers in his slice of suburban Australian life in the 1980's. I don't think I have ever had so much trouble writing a review before. I really enjoyed it, but I have no idea why! I'm failing to put it into words but it's just a feeling that I had while reading it. It was a total page-turner but I can't pinpoint why it was, which is absolutely useless when trying to write a review!

Andrew is a curious fourteen-year-old who likes knowing wha
...more
Brodie
May 28, 2011 Brodie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011, aussie-swap
I had a hard time writing my review for this book because I could barely find the words to adequately give it justice. I was not expecting such a quietly powerful read. Once I got into the story, I could not put it down. The Comet Box transported me back to my childhood. While this is set in the late 80's and I grew up in the 90's, the atmosphere was still the same in essence. I felt like I was inside this novel and the scorching hot summer days, the neighbourhood BBQ's while parents gossiped ab ...more
ALPHAreader
May 25, 2011 ALPHAreader rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A few weeks before Halley’s Comet arrives, Andrew’s sister runs away from home. The only traces of her are angry words between his parents and a name written on the wall of her room; Samantha Collins.

In the wake of Amelia’s disappearance Andrew starts to notice the cracks in his family, as well as the literal and figurative fissures that run beneath his suburban street. A shopping complex is being built, Halley’s comet is hurtling towards earth and Andrew’s family is being propped up with thin l
...more
Jane (yesmissjane)
Oct 11, 2015 Jane (yesmissjane) rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2015, ya, aus-lit
14 year old Andrew's older sister has a screaming row with their parents one night, and the next day she is gone. The police are called, but when they ask why she might have left, no mention is made of the fight. Andrew doesn't understand what's going on, and longs for his sister's return. But when months later the police turn her up two states away, and send her home, Andrew quickly realises that his sister coming home hasn't solved anything.

The moral of this story seems to be: everyone is mise
...more
Marj
Jun 07, 2011 Marj rated it really liked it
"In Merton our streets were named after astronauts and sports stars. You could stare at the names on the street signs for hours, hoping that some of the greatness would rub off onto you, but by the time you were six you already knew that greatness was meant for other people."

In this, Adrian Stirling's highly accomplished second novel, we are brought into the everyday world of an Australian street. Through the eyes of Andrew, our teenage protagonist, we gain a view of what's really going on behin
...more
Bec
Jul 24, 2011 Bec rated it it was amazing
Memories can almost make us travel through time. We can be standing in a room, driving our car, sending an email and suddenly a smell or a thought will send us back to the moment where we are five years old. For me it was the cover of The Comet Box that sent me shooting straight back to my childhood. The light blue fading into dark blue with the over developed pink rooftops on the houses below transported me from my loungeroom to a brick pathway winding under grape laden archways. I was on the w ...more
A Thousand Words Festival
Jul 24, 2011 A Thousand Words Festival rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-lit-fic
Memories can almost make us travel through time. We can be standing in a room, driving our car, sending an email and suddenly a smell or a thought will send us back to the moment where we are five years old. For me it was the cover of The Comet Box that sent me shooting straight back to my childhood. The light blue fading into dark blue with the over developed pink rooftops on the houses below transported me from my loungeroom to a brick pathway winding under grape laden archways. I was on the w ...more
Kaz
Sep 11, 2011 Kaz rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book, but it just seemed boring... and kinda depressing. I found it hard to relate to the POV of a 14 year old boy. But I could relate to the setting of suburban Australia in 1986, although I was only 5 and don't remember Halley's comet. I got through this book really quickly, mostly because I just wanted to be done with it.
I feel like I should apologise for not liking it. I'm sorry Mr Stirling, don't take it personally -I just don't like books that have no romance,
...more
Jenny
Jun 25, 2011 Jenny rated it really liked it
Just borrowed from the library. It comes highly recommended and should fit into my Aussie YA challenge.

Now having finished this most unusual mystery I'm not quite sure how to describe my reaction. I felt compelled to read it quickly as the suspense about family secret that cause Amelia to leave home certainly drew me in to solve the mystery.

But, I'm not sure that I liked the book because it is so bleak, very sad. Can't say I'd recommend it to younger students, more for those in Year 9 and up.
Cass -  Words on Paper
I tried so hard. Thinking objectively though, it took me a whole week to read just 100 pp~ (half) of this book. I didn't care for the characters, nor did I feel compelled to read on. I hate not finishing review copies, but there are just too many books on my TBR to get bogged down with one book for so long.

STOPPED AT P 113~
Kitt
Oct 07, 2011 Kitt rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Really beautifully, simply written, evocative Aussie setting. Heart wrenching story about a boy trying to make sense of his complicated world. A little too dark at the end though for my liking, hence not five stars.
Christina Batey
Feb 11, 2012 Christina Batey rated it really liked it
Well-written and gritty, I enjoyed the parallels of Andrews discovery of the pipeline under the suburb and the gradual uncovering of the secrets of its residents living in the houses above.
Sacha
Nov 25, 2012 Sacha rated it it was ok
Relevant themes for adolescents but the language and vocabulary was fairly simplistic. This was disappointing. Also, the ending was unsatisfactory.
Miquaelia
Oct 30, 2012 Miquaelia rated it liked it
I thought it was alright but it is more for younger people then myself. I gave it to my ittle brother and he was quite into it.
Meg
Sep 18, 2011 Meg added it
I really liked this book. It was the sort of book that you just didn't want tho put down.
Gemma
Aug 12, 2011 Gemma added it
i did not read this book but truly recommended it
Roseandtrad
Apr 28, 2012 Roseandtrad rated it did not like it
Worst piece of crap i have ever seen
Tanya (aka ListObsessedReader)
Book 3 of #UnderHypedReads
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