Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Bye, Beautiful” as Want to Read:
Bye, Beautiful
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Bye, Beautiful

3.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  127 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Sandy does not know if she would fit in anywhere, but she feels like a complete outsider in this hot, wheatbelt town where her policeman father has just been transferred.

And then she meets Billy, the part-Aboriginal mechanic's apprentice and town heart-throb. Sandy's feelings for him are overwhelming her, but she is about to find out that her greatest rival is her own sist
Paperback, 265 pages
Published 2006 by Penguin Books Australia
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Bye, Beautiful, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Bye, Beautiful

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 211)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Lien To
Feb 03, 2015 Lien To rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
This story definitely attempts to explore important issues and elements of sexism and racism in the late 60's but it was rather bluntly written.
The characters we read from were very shallow and hardly had any depth to them at all. Sandy was such a frustratingly timid character to read from. When she wasn't annoying her sister or self-pitying herself, she was thinking about the unlikely possibilities with Billy (uRGH DON'T GET ME STARTED ON BILLY WHAT KIND OF AUTHOR WOULD NAME ONE OF THEIR
Apr 05, 2016 Mega rated it did not like it
I have many issues with Bye Beautiful, namely the characterisation of Sandy. She's fourteen years old, yet she deals with most situations throughout the book with the outlook of a small child. She seems incapable of making decisions and is seen as weak under pressure. This would have been alright if her character had evolved but I didn't see any character progression throughout the book.

Also, the ending to me seemed clunky and unexplained, and totally strayed from the characters. It failed to ti
Sophie Gunn
Jan 15, 2015 Sophie Gunn rated it liked it
That was so intense and 3.5/5
Sep 14, 2013 Catherine rated it it was ok
Although I feel the major themes of Bye Beautiful (specifically, the destructive power of racism and prejudice) are extremely important, and I enjoyed some of the descriptions of the WA landscape, overall I felt this book was lacking.
Simply put, if I didn't have to read BB for school, I probably would not have finished it (and I read pretty much anything!)

My biggest annoyance was the narrator, Sandy. I understand she is constructed to be relatively 'naive,' (especially given the conservative,
May 20, 2012 Oma rated it really liked it
Growing up in the conservative era of Australia’s 1960s can be hard enough, but it is even harder for 14 year old introverted Sandy Lansing who is just coming to terms with comprehending the adult world. The Lansings move from their suburban home in bustling Perth to a small and intimate wheat belt town in rural Western Australia. Beneath the layers of red, thick dust, the sun’s harsh rays and the oppressive heat, there are the emotions of the family bubbling away; Just waiting to be able to sur ...more
Jan 30, 2015 Abbie rated it did not like it
Well, that was a horrible experience. Even worse than Crow Country *shock*. I did not think that the writing was at all good and there was next to no character development, which made me feel nothing but annoyance at how bad it was. I thought that some of the issues explored in the book (racism, sexism, religion etc.) was quite interesting, though could have been handled better than it actually was.
Mar 10, 2014 Tia rated it liked it
I read Bye, beautiful for my English assignment this year, so it wasn't a book i would have picked off of the shelves. It was interesting, however I wasn't impressed by Sandy (the main character) who simply suffered in silence throughout the novel. she is a pitiful character and makes no effort to do anything in the novel. When she does finally take action, she begins to ruin her sisters life. this book frustrated me to no end and i didn't really like any of the characters, i only felt sorry for ...more
Shirley Marr
May 05, 2011 Shirley Marr rated it liked it
Sandy, a young girl on the cusp of becoming a teenager and her family are dragged to a country town following her policeman father and his work. There in the blistering heat and the dust, hidden emotions within the family bubble up to the surface and become clearly distilled, threatening to tear the unit apart.

I loved the simmering tension in this story between the inhabitants of the town, between the environment and the people and most keenly between the two sisters, who both set their eyes on
This book really impressed me, until it sort of fizzled out in the end, sadly. I loved that we had Sandy, as an extreme introvert, for our main character, and so many of her thoughts and actions rang so very true to that. I loved the 1960s setting – there was a wonderful sense of place, and beautiful writing, beautiful contemplations of infinity and the velvety night sky. Loved the relationship between the sisters Sandy and Marianne. I loved that the story didn’t go in the direction I thought it ...more
Jul 01, 2014 Meg rated it really liked it
Another one from our library that I have to question...definitely a book for older children, though I know of one girl in my class who would read it. The issues of racism and mysogyny are quite confronting to the thinking of today and very much at odds with what children know in Australia today, (the racism is not as obvious, but it is still present!).
What I did find difficult was the long setting for the narrative....two thirds of the book before the "action" began and then it was finished ver
Watermelon Daisy
Dec 21, 2011 Watermelon Daisy rated it really liked it
Just a normal romance. Nothing more. Probably a lot of drama. The title's really pretty for some reason, and it plays along with the actual plot. But the cover designs ugly. Just saying.

It was beautiful. Though written in third person, I think it was fabulous. Very elegantly written and I felt for the main character, Sandy.

The plot was way different than I expected. Much more touching, much more original. You honestly have to read it to understand. But it star
Cool Beans
Mar 22, 2016 Cool Beans rated it did not like it
A disgustingly boring, waste of time, which I could have spent doing on better things. However having to read it for school, I had to withstand myself from trying to throw the book across the room. Only interesting part was when Sandy gets her period and thinks she's dying *that's pretty funny dude*.
Feb 24, 2014 paper rated it did not like it
Dull, pointless, plodding. I did get some enjoyment out of it, but that was only while putting each individual page through the document shredder after finding it covered in mould in the bottom of my sister's schoolbag.
J Leaver
Sep 27, 2012 J Leaver rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this unpretentious novel. The 60s setting is very evocative and Lawrinson captures the context very well - the values, roles of men and women, attitudes to the 'other' - here represented by a handsome, charismatic aboriginal man. There is a dreadful sadness watching the vibrant and independent older sister come up against the conservatism of the time. The deference of the family to the father figure is terrible especially given his ultimate hypocrisy. Sometimes the name droppin ...more
Anthony Eaton
Apr 08, 2009 Anthony Eaton rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful novel, by an incredible writer.

In terms of portraying a very specific time and place, and providing readers with a vivid sensory - as well as narrative - experience, this novel by fellow W.A. Author Julia Lawrinson is one of my all time favourite. Even if you're not familiar with the landscape or era that she's writing about, from the very first pages the clautrophobia of small country town life, and the cultural tensions within it, are palpable.

At times gentle and lyrical, a
Ms Tlaskal
Sep 25, 2013 Ms Tlaskal rated it really liked it
This is a good solid read, spot on with the setting and giving the flavour of the time. However as a love story it does not really work. I thought the main character of Sandy would be the one having the real love affair with BIlly, the aboriginal boy. The reader, just like sandy, seems removed from the real action; I did not feel as if I really understood the love story between sandy's sister Marianne and BIlly because it was all told in third person; almost like a police report that their fathe ...more
Meghann Leavy
Mar 28, 2016 Meghann Leavy rated it did not like it
Mar 07, 2016 Joy rated it liked it
Robyn Mundy
Mar 25, 2010 Robyn Mundy rated it really liked it
YA. Sandy's father, the new policeman of a small wheatbelt town, rules the cop shop and his family with an iron fist. He bans Sandy and her older sister Marianne from associating with Billy, the part-Aboriginal mechanic's apprentice and town heart throb. The haunting preface sets the tone of this tough tale of patriarchy and racism. YAs will have cause to appreciate not being born in the '60s. Prepare to take a confronting leap back into the past.
Mar 08, 2014 Annie rated it liked it
It was okay just not my type of book i guess.
Madi Scanlon
Feb 24, 2016 Madi Scanlon rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 19, 2010 Kelly added it
Shelves: young-adult
one of the most compelling books ever - Perth in the 1960sm copper's daughter, small town, older sister falls in love with Aboriginal boy, pregnant and then father (policeman) bashes him to death, all covered up. Very gritty
Jun 26, 2009 eprptegshtgn rated it it was ok
studied it for year nine, and I thought it was a good story which was ruined by analyzing it to death. I thought at that stage we should of been doing much more complicated things.
May 03, 2013 Arnia rated it it was ok
I had to read this book for English.
It was okay, but I wouldn't choose it for myself and I wouldn't read it again.
It's set in Australia.
Apr 05, 2012 Emily rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, honours
Read my review at my blog:
Oct 04, 2011 TheSeeker rated it really liked it
Beautiful book by a beautiful author. Every single book by Julia Lawrinson has blown me away.
Jo marked it as to-read
Apr 19, 2016
Lauren added it
Apr 19, 2016
Zoe marked it as to-read
Apr 18, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Have You Seen Ally Queen?
  • The Convent
  • Brown Skin Blue
  • The Good Daughter
  • The Story of Tom Brennan
  • New Guinea Moon
  • Town
  • Other Brother
  • Love-Shy
  • Finding Darcy
  • Only Ever Always
  • Everything Beautiful
  • Alexander Altmann A10567
  • Fire in the Sea
  • Losing It
  • The Minnow
  • A Stranger in My Street
  • India Dark
Julia Lawrinson is an Australian writer of children's and young adult fiction. Her debut novel Obsession (Fremantle Press, 2001) won the Western Australian Premier's Prize for Young Adult Writing: since then her work has been shortlisted for numerous awards. Her latest book is the Flyaway Girls (Puffin 2015) and her next YA will be out in early 2017.
More about Julia Lawrinson...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“They say you see stars, when you hit the back of your head like that, but Billy was facing upwards, and he could not tell whether the stars in his eyes were from the pulsing whites of country stars. There is nothing like the night sky in the country, the spongy purple of it, the stars with their own heartbeats, the things out there that you cannot see.” 0 likes
More quotes…