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Losing Kate

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  371 ratings  ·  77 reviews
This mesmerising debut is part love story, part mystery, telling the captivating story of two lovers torn apart by tragedy and the secrets they kept of one devastating night.

I'm the most authentic version of myself when I'm around Jack. We've known each other since we were kids, and our relationship was always one of mudpies and mocking.

Then everything changed.

Beautiful Ka
Paperback, 368 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Bantam Australia
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  371 ratings  ·  77 reviews

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Jack and Frankie (Francesca)'s mothers were friends and so the two kids grew up together, played and tumbled together like puppies and were best mates at school. Into their final year walk school walked Kate, a beautiful charismatic girl who became both Frankie's best friend and Jack's girlfriend. Frankie has coped with Jack having girlfriends before, but not her best friend and their triangle becomes a bit strained at times. Then tragedy strikes at a beach camp following their end of year exams ...more
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Francesca (Frankie) is single, aged thirty and lives alone in her run down cottage which she is trying to renovate in between her work schedule. The vacant land at the back of her cottage is up for sale, so on auction day, Frankie and her friend, Meg go along to see if the land gets sold, but the last person, Frankie expected to see in the crowd was, Jack. Frankie and Jack were childhood friends who attended the same school and it's been thirteen years since they've seen one another. After, Jack ...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

Kylie Kaden's compelling debut novel, Losing Kate, is an absorbing contemporary story of secrets, betrayal, love and redemption.

On the night that seventeen year old Kate disappeared while celebrating 'schoolies', Francesca lost both the best friend she adored and the boy, Jack, who held her heart.
Thirteen years later, Frankie is stunned to discover Jack has bought the vacant block of land bordering her cottage. Their unexpected reunion revives memories and emotions neither are prepared for, and
As Frankie gazed at the huddle of people in her back yard, she felt a little bemused – her little old miner’s cottage which she had bought earlier with the view to renovate had a vacant block at the back, just beyond the rickety fence – this was why the group of people, including the forceful auctioneer were on her property. Her neighbour and best friend, Meg, was treating it as a fun day for her boys – including the popcorn. But quite suddenly Frankie froze in shock; a man from her long ago pas ...more
Helene Young
Apr 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A rich evocative read that kept me riveted right to the end. Losing Kate is a stunning debut and I look forward to reading many more stories from this wonderful new writer.
Feb 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Thirteen years ago Francesca’s best friend died under mysterious circumstances. Kate’s death made the papers, and suspicion was cast on her boyfriend, Francesca’s best childhood friend, Jack Shaw … so much doubt was cast, and mud sticks, so Jack and his family had to move away.

Thirteen years later Francesca, single and working a gruelling job as a social worker, has stayed in her hometown and bought a fixer-upper cottage next door to a house on vacant swamp land. But the day that land goes up fo
Roz ~ My Written Romance
You can read this and my other reviews at My Written Romance.

I was provided with an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5

We hear the tale of Kate and the impact her loss had on those who loved and knew her through the eyes of Frankie.

Frankie and Jack were never apart as children, the very best of friends. Then Kate arrived in their lives, a whirlwind who blew in and changed it in more ways than she could ever know. Frankie watched from the sidelines, trying t
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I don't know how to begin this review. This book was compelling, mesmerising, I couldn't put it down and I totally felt for Francesca (for Fray/Frankie), Jack and even Kate.
It begins in Year 12, Frankie and Jack have been best friends since early childhood and Kate comes to the school as the new girl. They strike a friendship and Kate is everything that Frankie wants to be, striking, confident and exciting...and she also has Jack, to the point that Frankie often feels on the outer.
Kate disappear
Jenn J McLeod
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant storytelling. Hard to believe this is a debut novel. It takes talent to write a story that shifts back and forth (decades) and do it so well. I feel like I actually ‘watched’ Frankie and Jack growing up into the present day adults who reconnect and rediscover the tragic event from their angsty teenage years. The wonderful turn of phrase made Losing Kate a delightful and easy read. I look forward to the next novel.
Bree T
Mar 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Thirteen years ago, Frankie, Jack and Kate were almost inseparable. Frankie and Jack had been friends since they were both tiny – Frankie’s mother used to babysit Jack after his mother went back to work. They went through school together like best friends although somewhere along the way, things became a little different.

And then came Kate.

Kate was new to the school when they were about 16 and it was Frankie she made a beeline for and the two of them became best friends. Shortly after, Jack the
Deborah Ideiosepius
Brilliant book!

I love stories set in Australia and I absolutely loved this one set as it is in Brisbane. Although it is a Brisbane story, this should not discourage anyone from reading it if they are not familiar with this city, the scenes are well enough written that anyone can enjoy them.

Our main characters were scarred by the death of Kate, the girl was her best friend and adored her, the boy was her boyfriend and suspected for her death.... Thirteen years later they meet again, by coinciden
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Losing Kate is a wonderful story about what happens to young adults lives when something terrible happens to them. Readers of losing Kate would also see the way the community treated Jack and Frankie during this time. Jack and his family due to the treatment he received had to leave Brisbane and go to Townsville. However, ten years later Jack back in Brisbane and then everything started to change for Frankie. The readers of Losing Kate will be surprised and love the conclusion of this book. I lo ...more
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, 2014
Enjoyable debut!

Flashbacks a bit long and the whole piece a bit too extended, but still very readable.
Natalie M
Jul 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
I am so glad I discovered this Aussie author’s debut novel.

Spanning a 13 year time period, the author seamlessly moves through the history of them and now.
Characters Frankie and Jack are both easy to relate to and enjoy. The impact of Kate’s friendship with the two, and later her tragic death flow through their lives, causing havoc they realise and don’t acknowledge.

Authentic, truly Aussie and emotional without being soppy or too sentimental. Great debut novel.
Jamie Wright
Mar 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
With a fresh, distinctive voice, Kylie Kaden describes the story of a teenaged girl who disappears on a deserted beach during an end-of-school adventure, and details the impact the event had on those left behind, namely Kate’s friends Frankie and Jack. I’m not usually a flash-back fan, but the author expertly weaves present day scenes (when Frankie and Jack meet again at thirty, thirteen years after the event), to the tense beach scenes that led to Kate’s disappearance.

I usually have a few books
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book more but I guessed the outcome so there were no surprises for me. Kylie Kaden is a most fortunate author to be plucked out of the slush pile and published. I've read far better books by unpublished writers. ...more
Jean Mole
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved it. Refreshing style, modern story, set in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Recommended reading. Jean.
Dec 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Set is Brisbane, following life and relationships of two family friends from 2000 (end of high school) to 2013.

Not really a thriller, not really a love story, much more than families and relationships.

Kept a steady pace, flipping from present to past and back again, with timely reveals, confessions, displays of emotion.

Loved all the local references, cringed at some of the “fake” words (aussies would never ever say it that way), laughed at the okkerisms.

Lots to entertain in this debut.
3 stars

Mar 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Francesca and Jack are best buddies, they grew up together. They share half a lifetime of closeness unbreakable by anyone.

One school day when they were seventeen, Kate, a beautiful, lively and yet mysterious girl arrives in their class.

Everyone thinks she’s hot and that includes Jack. They became an item while Kate and Francesca became best friends.

One night when their group of friends went on a camping trip at the beach, Jack and Kate had a huge fight because he wanted to end their relationshi
‘Hope I’m not distracting you from bidding,’ I laugh.
He scratches his head. ‘Er, not me, no.’
I relax a notch. ‘Phew, now that would be freaky,’ I scoff, and a snort-laugh escapes. I lean in close. ‘Besides, the block is a swamp every time it rains …’
‘Is that right?’ A dimple appears on his cheek. Then he’s side-tracked again, looking around the crowd, at the little boy now on hands and knees with his ball at the fence, and it gives me a chance to suss him out. His clothes are different – brand n
Apr 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Schoolies week is supposed to be a time to let loose and have fun after breaking free of the shackles of high school, but for Francesca it holds only tragic memories. Camped on the Noosa North Shore with her best friend Kate and the childhood pal whom she has grown to love (Jack), Francesa's world implodes when Kate disappears one night. For Francesa it is a double tragedy - not only has she lost Kate but also Jack too. Struggling to cope with the suspicion and media attention his family abruptl ...more
Lily Malone
Dec 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There's a line on the first page of this book that includes the phrase "Sticky brood of boys", and the very last line in the book says: (hang on, that would be a spoiler, wouldn't it)...
For me, everything in the pages between is wonderful writing from a fresh new voice in Australian fiction.
I enjoy real estate. I've renovated several homes now with my hubby, and so all the present-day scenes involving Frankie's cottage and rebuilding, and Jack as the lost best friend who buys the vacant block ne
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
Wanted to love this, didn’t love this. Again I have to disagree with the majority of reviewers on here. The premise is a good one and the writing is ok but the will they - won’t they tension last the ENTIRE book.
The missing girl, Kate, who is the girlfriend of Jack is not what she seems (how hum!) and Fray (Francesca) who has been friends with him since childhood and secretly loves him, believes Jack wants her deep down. Even though Kate is her best friend. They finally admit this to each other
MarciaB - Book Muster Down Under
Losing Kate gets your attention right from the first start and doesn’t relent until the very last page as Francesca (Frankie) Hudson’s story holds you captive.

Frankie and Jack Shaw were friends from infancy until a “schoolies” camping trip in which Kate Shepherd, Frankie’s best friend, and Jack’s girlfriend, disappeared with her body subsequently washing up on the beach. This culminated in Jack’s family moving away from the town to escape the accusing eyes, and taunts of the neighbourhood, and a
Dec 12, 2017 rated it liked it
A sad story in so many ways. Almost all sadness and loss caused by one person’s failure to tell the truth about an accident. Affected the lives of so many for 13 years. Resolution took a long time.
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wonderful story, I enjoyed both the present time and flashbacks. The characters were fleshed out and 'real' with troubles and human frailties I could relate to. A great read! ...more
Nouran Jambo
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Such an enjoyable read. Once I started reading I honestly could not put this one down!

Kirsten Constantinous
Jul 09, 2022 rated it it was ok
A bit slow with a predictable ending.
Rebecca Rutland
Oct 04, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. What made it even better was the references to my local areas in South East QLD.
Sam Still Reading
Apr 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Random House Australia for the eARC.

Losing Kate. From the title, you may think that this book is a sad story, full of despair at someone losing the person they loved. While there are sad elements to this story, it is ultimately a tale of trust, hope and love told in a suspenseful way. It’s also a book that will conjure fond memories for teenagers of the late 1990s/early 2000s (especially Australian ones) with its references to pop culture. (Kaden gets super bonus points from me for
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