The Big Smoke
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Big Smoke

by
3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  63 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Ceara’s desperate for love; Seb’s desperate to get laid. Ceara adores reading novels; Seb hasn’t finished a book in years. Two strangers, both moving from small country towns to Brisbane – the big smoke. As they prepare to attend the same university, their paths seem set to collide, but they keep missing each other. Maybe fate is keeping them apart, or maybe it’s just chan...more
Paperback, 414 pages
Published October 2012 by Createspace
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuireEasy by Tammara WebberFifty Shades of Grey by E.L. JamesThoughtless by S.C. StephensEffortless by S.C. Stephens
College Romance
409th out of 800 books — 5,983 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 667)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Ari Bookzilla.
I really enjoyed this, it was too cute. Usually I wouldn't read it because the blurb did nothing for me, but I have to say that despite knowing better I was being shallow and let the cover persuade me. It's just too pretty, all artsy and colorful like that.

Both Ceara and Seb are wonderful characters, and they have so much going on I was constantly worried they wouldn't pull through. Two teens, finally going into adulthood and trying to be independent, but not quite realizing they're there yet. S...more
Andrea
The Big Smoke was a very interesting read for me. When I received the review request, I was hooked at the words "Australia" and "Contemporary New Adult". That's pretty much all I needed to give the book a try.

I thought The Big Smoke would be primarily a love story. The story of Seb and Ceara, adjusting to university life and falling in love. But what I got was two parallel stories, told simultaneously, of two people who were troubled by issues from the past, each making their way and learning v...more
Mari
This book sneaks up on you, grabs you by the throat, and doesn’t let you go until the last page. When I picked it up I was tired of reading material for young adults, or new adults, for that matter, that consists of a series of ‘then this happened and then that happened’ statements. The Big Smoke boldly sets itself against the current trend of shallow character development and over reliance on plot. What the reader finds instead is an organic development of connections, entanglements and emotion...more
Charity Bradford
I'm going to be honest here and say that originally I wasn't sure if I wanted to read this. I wasn't sure it was going to be "my thing" by the blurb. For that reason, it means a lot more when I say I REALLY enjoyed this. Once you read you'll realize how brilliant the cover is and why the characters are sketched in.

This is a story about two people who want something very much, but it's the wrong thing. How many times have we been in the same place in our lives? The Big Smoke is a coming of age s...more
Robyn
It's a long time since I was the age of Seb and Ceara but Cally Jackson's writing took me back to those days when I was trying to find my way the world, desperately wanting to fit in. Cally has written each character in the first person which invites the reader into their hearts and minds. I've read this book twice and even the second time, knowing what to expect I had tears streaming down my face on the bus and people staring at me wondering what was wrong. This is the mark of excellent writing...more
Monique
I was introduced to this book through an article about Cally Jackson on the intranet at work, but after reading the first two chapters I went straight to Amazon and bought the e-book. I'm a bit past the age range of Seb and Ceara, but Cally's vivid writing brought back those angst-filled uni days where you're trying to figure out who you are and what you want and deal with massive changes in your life, while having to deal with the stresses of studying at the same time.

I really liked Seb and Cea...more
Dan
It's 2002 and Seb and Ceara are destined for each other, they just don't know it yet. Jackson does a great job of getting into her male and female characters' heads and showing us their anxieties about rites of passages such as moving into your first apartments (no dorms in Australia, apparently) getting your first job away from home, learning to drive in the big city, and making new friends. The authorial hand is very light and the action grows organically from the actions of the characters. Th...more
Rachel Morgan
THE GOOD: Relationships, romance, drama, humour, heartbreak, coming of age--this book has a lot packed into it! It's a long book. Not long in a this-story-is-dragging-on-forever-I-wish-it-would-end kinda way. No, no, no. Long in a I-scored-two-awesome-books-in-one kinda way!! The chapters alternate between Seb and Ceara, two very different characters with distinctive voices. They're heading off to university with all their hopes, dreams, fears and expectations--which is already a lot to deal wit...more
Michael Offutt
I received an Advanced Reader Edition of Cally Jackson's debut novel, and I read it in just a few days. It was THAT good. As a warning I want to say that my review may contain some spoilers, because I can't think of a way of talking about this tale without discussing what goes on in Ceara and Seb's lives.

"The Big Smoke" has two narrators. We've seen this plenty of times before most notably used by William Faulkner in "Absalom, Absalom." However, it is also used to great effect by George R.R. Mar...more
Mim Davies
I loved this book! At first I thought I might be too old to enjoy this novel but it sure took me back to my uni days. The characters were portrayed so perfectly. I remember those feelings of loneliness, betrayal, self worth, love and doubt.

I was on the edge of my seat reading faster and faster and getting annoyed when the 2 characters that I had gotten to know so well throughout the story kept missing each other.

It's a well written story of fate and chance, of love and lust, of self doubt and...more
Su Williams
Feb 06, 2013 Su Williams rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Su by: Cally Jackson
The Big Smoke by Cally Jackson was an honest look at two 'new adults' launching into college. Each character (male and female) was given individual voice. The issues were definitely issues that young adults face these days. A good read!
Zoe and the Edge
Jul 24, 2013 Zoe and the Edge rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Zoe and the Edge by: Ari Bookzilla
Um...what the heck?

This was awesome...and then it was terrible...and then it was awesome again...and then it was terrible...and then it was awesome and I was so sad it ended.

It's actually really fun to read a book that takes place in your own country with the Australian slang and your own trees.
The setting is the best thing about this book. The characters are pretty good even though they get into all sorts of ridiculous situations. I liked that they're real people and crazy stuff does go down...more
Anne Moffat
I'll admit I know Cally - BUT...this was a totally great book on it's own merits. It had me laughing, crying (yep - true) and really revelling in the uni life of Brisbane a decade or so back (I am sure I almost got run over on the same street). The characters are so real you will swear you knew them in your 20s. Their experiences are so raw and so detailed, it's like living them yourself. And perhaps that's the best bit of this book. Most of these experiences we have all had in our own way. Perh...more
Tamara Pratt
I highly recommend this read. It was for my teenage daughters at the time I purchased it, but I read the book in a few days' straight, and have only just handed it over to them now! It's a great coming of age tale based on the story of two young adults finding independence and belonging in a big city, and I thoroughly enjoyed my journey with them. For all readers, young and old.
Laura Diamond
I don't read a lot of contemporary, but I sure am glad I read this book! Cally does a fabulous job of weaving each character's life throughout the story, building momentum right until the last page. Her characters are authentic, real people. I feel like I've know them forever.

A must read!
Secretly Adorkable Readers
I will give this 3 1/2 stars.........A good Aussie book. I didn't realize that till after I downloaded it so learned a little Aussie jargon along the way.

This was a very long novel between Seb & Ceara POV's. This isn't a normal hot romance that is between the two characters, it's about them going thru their own personal experiences before they have their own together (meaning they aren't together for only about 8% out of a 415 pages of the book.)

I still enjoyed the story throughout. It was...more
Margaret Lehmann
Once into “The Big Smoke”, it was hard to put down. I found it an engrossing story of moving into adulthood. The characters grow with the narrative and one cares a lot about what happens to them.

In a nutshell, it was a great read.

And will be a great Xmas gift for the late teens and early 20’s.
Kay
This is not a romance novel. It is a coming of age book about two different people who have several chance connections with only one encounter. It's good for what it is and we see character growth by the end. I would just have liked to see these two interact with each other sooner rather later.

Megan
3.5 If only they had gotten together sooner! What a tease!
Gliré
Dec 08, 2012 Gliré marked it as to-read
Beautiful cover.
Aileen
Aileen marked it as to-read
Jul 19, 2014
Augustian Joy
Augustian Joy marked it as to-read
Jul 15, 2014
Hope Dee
Hope Dee marked it as to-read
Jul 09, 2014
Sam Shivy
Sam Shivy marked it as to-read
Jun 27, 2014
Kitty
Kitty marked it as to-read
Jun 23, 2014
Suzanne
Suzanne marked it as to-read
Jun 19, 2014
Hannah
Hannah marked it as to-read
Jun 02, 2014
Amanda Scanlan
Amanda Scanlan marked it as to-read
Mar 11, 2014
Kristina
Kristina marked it as to-read
Mar 07, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 22 23 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Queen Kat, Carmel and St. Jude Get a Life
  • Violet Midnight (Violet Night, #1)
  • Universal Guardians: The Royal Descendant
  • The Saints of the Cross
  • The Crimson Hunt (Eldaen Light Chronicles, #1)
  • His Allure, Her Passion
  • Hale Maree
  • I Loved You First
  • Precious Things
  • Harbinger (The Bleeding Worlds, #1)
  • How to Marry an Alien (My Alien Romance, #3)
  • Falling
  • Ultimate Blood
  • A Stolen Season
  • Oxford Whispers (The Oxford Trilogy, # 1)
  • What Women Think About
  • Secret Storm
  • A Fairy's Guide to Disaster (Away From Whipplethorn, #1)
6536801
Cally Jackson grew up in the small country town of Gatton. After deciding at 17 that a Hollywood acting career was sadly out of reach, Cally turned to a career in professional communication and is currently employed by the government.

Cally’s passion for fictional writing first emerged in grade two when she got in trouble for penning her own tale instead of copying directly from a story book as she...more
More about Cally Jackson...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »