Bye, Beautiful
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Bye, Beautiful

3.39 of 5 stars 3.39  ·  rating details  ·  99 ratings  ·  18 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...more
Paperback, 265 pages
Published 2006 by Penguin Books Australia
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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,...more
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
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
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...more
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
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...more
Watermelon Daisy
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...more
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
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
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...more
Ms Tlaskal
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
Robyn Mundy
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.
It was okay just not my type of book i guess.
Kelly Dunham
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
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.
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.
Beautiful book by a beautiful author. Every single book by Julia Lawrinson has blown me away.
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Jul 03, 2014
Hannah Wilding
Hannah Wilding marked it as to-read
Jun 04, 2014
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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 Chess Nuts (Puffin 2010), and she's working on a novel about four girls, one boy and a secret.
More about Julia Lawrinson...
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“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
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