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3.73  ·  Rating details ·  255 ratings  ·  42 reviews
A wonderful debut novel that captures the essence of real, messy teenage lives: of action and consequence, of poor choices and fragile friendships, of standing up for what is right, and the attempt to make sense of a world when everything feels like it's falling apart.

At fifteen, Clover is finding the going tougher than she expected. Her life is close to being derailed on
Paperback, 308 pages
Published June 1st 2014 by Allen & Unwin
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  255 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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C.G. Drews
I’ve got a confession! I didn’t actually expect to like this book. I won it from Allen & Unwin (thank you!) with a kind of condition of “please review this book”…aaaand, honestly? It didn’t look like a book I’d adore. BUT! While I have a few crabby comments to make, I’m giving it 4-stars because I totally enjoyed it.

Characters? These are the BEST part of this book! When I say “I love well-written main characters and secondary characters”? THIS book shows how it should be done! ‘Scuse me, I m
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: allen-unwin, loveozya
This is Aussie realism. From the teen interactions, cliques, and discovering your place in the world. This could have been my neighbourhood from when I was a teen two decades ago. Felt it lacked direction a little though, I would have loved the storyline to have built towards something more monumental, but enjoyed it regardless.

Cracked was a brilliant take on living life as an Australian teen, but teens all around the world can relate to the plight of Clover, and losing her way while findi
I think I am the wrong gender and age for this story. A coming of age story about a bit of an artistic rebel but to me it was a forgettable experience.
Jun 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
If only books got rated by the amount of time I should have spent sleeping that I spent with the light on, or the volume of sniffly tears they prompted, or the number of stupid things they made me say to my husband ("Exactly how did it FORCE you to stay awake half the night?") ...

I don't read much YA fiction, and I started this one out of respect for the author (a sometime colleague and onetime student). But I loved it, and the more I think about it, the more I find to admire.

The characters are
Nadia King
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There is so much to love about Clare Strahan’s young adult book, Cracked.

Clover Jones is cracked. She’s on the cusp of adulthood and teetering on the edge at school. At times she feels unwanted, unloved, and overwhelmed at the dire state of the planet. People seem to have a habit of leaving Clover; her dad, her best friend, Alison Larder and her Iraqi art teacher, Ms Yamouni. Add to that, a weird mother and ageing dog, and it’s quite clear why Clover is cracked.

Strahan has perfectly captured the
Clover hasn’t had the most conventional upbringing. Raised by a single mother who the kids at school consider to be odd is not easy. Her mother is ideologically opposed to Facebook and her many eccentricities make it hard for Clover to relate to the kids at school. There’s also the small little fact that Clover has no idea who her father is.

When Clover and Keek bond over useless teachers and unreasonable parents, it is the start of a friendship Clover never even knew she needed. Keek introduces
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This book is very good at drawing characters and building the relationships between them. Clover Jones is the central character, a year 10 girl in an Australian school. The tone is set from the opening lines: "I cracked when I was eleven, but it didn't show. People are so naturally strange, it's hard to tell if they're broken or not..."

Clover lives with her mother, an artist who believes in a Steiner education but can't afford it. She won't let Clover have a mobile or a television or sign up to
Helen Stower
A story that encapsulates what is like to be fifteen. In this coming of age novel, we meet Clover. She is talented, passionate and at risk of ‘cracking’.

The plot of this novel follows Clover as she pushes everyone and everything, including herself, to the limit. She is passionate about the environment and decides to raise awareness about the loss of a local wildlife corridor through graffiti. In order to get her message across, she needs the help of her friend Keek and she draws him into her es
Clare Snow
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of graffiti
"Then the sky cracks open and the light shines through."

Cracked has all things I love in a book: a waddling senior staffy, nature, graffiti, hot ranga who rides bmx, one angry young woman. My regular refrain: how did it take me so long to find this, get around to read it. Also, how has this book not won awards?? I'll give it one now: Fav Book I Just Finished Reading.
"What do I need more problems for? Why are you loading us up with problems?"

Clover has all sorts of reasons to be angry and it gets
Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
This is yet another one of those gritty Australian YA books I've been in the mood for lately.

We have 16-year-old Clover, who's growing up with a kooky single mum (the kind who won't let her have a TV or Facebook). Her best friend is a boy named Keek whose own mum is not toally all there, but that's more to do with drugs than anything else. The whole 50k-ish words explores Clover's coming of age in a world rocked by her status as a bullied, illegitimate child.

The writing style is a little chopp
May 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Firstly, thanks to Allen & Unwin Australia for this review copy.

Review originally posted at Fiction in Fiction in Fiction

“I cracked when I was eleven, but it didn’t show.”

It has been so long since I’ve read an Aussie YA book – not just one by an Aussie author but one actually set in Australia. Cracked was a very refreshing and quick read about a teenager trying to fit in high school and Strahan gives it the perfect touch that makes it distinctly Australian.

Clover’s character was an interesting
Eden Wilson
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
I don't think this book is for me...

The main character locks herself in her room after the police came over last night and she doesn't speak to her mother for two days... TWO DAYS!

I the story was boring to me, but I guess you're opinions are the opposite.

(I do like how the dog is on the cover though it was mentions in the blurb).
Kirrily Ireland
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Cracked” was such a refreshing, humorous and thought-provoking read. I loved how witty and unique the characters were, so three-dimensional with human problems and human souls. What a brilliant OzYA novel!
Aussie Owned and Read Owned and Read
I’ve got a confession! I didn’t actually expect to like this book. BUT! While I have a few crabby comments to make, I’m giving it 4-stars because I totally enjoyed it.

Characters? These are the BEST part of this book! When I say “I love well-written main characters and secondary characters”? THIS book shows how it should be done! ‘Scuse me, I must grin garishly. Clover is our narrator, who starts the book at 15 and ends 17. To put it plainly: she’s a freak. She doesn’t fit in evvvver. (Never hear
Clover is a contradiction. She is a free-thinker, an environmentalist, a crusader, and yet she secretly lusts after the popular footy player, who really is ALL player, and she longs to fit in with The Herbs, a groups of mean girls.

Meanwhile, she has incredible artistic talent that she uses to create graffiti, risking the wrath of the police. She takes up smoking and truants. She is certainly a hot mess.

But luckily she has Keek, a boxer called Lucille and a conscience that stops her from getting
donnalyn ♡
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: quick-read, aussie
Clare Strahan crafts an honest representation of Australian youth. Quick to read, steadily paced and appropriately sprinkled with Aussie lingo. It was sweet how Keek and Clover had a nice boy-girl friendship before finally dating! I loved all the deep morals that were woven into the novel; Strahan addresses slut-shaming, homophobia and sexism without writing prose that sounds awkward or fake.
The only thing that stops this book from getting 5 stars is the little spark that leaves a story an unfo
Jul 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
Cracked is a gentle realistic Australian novel about a girl called Clover and her friends and close relatives. It describes the changing nature of friendships (both adult and teenage) plus the difficulties of growing up when your world and your friends change. It also highlights the pressures on a teenager when they feel and are different from the people around them. Clover attends a public high school, she is not a good student, nor is she always honest or kind but that is what makes the book m ...more
carolina ☾

"I'm a virgin, Mum.All right?"
"Good."She throws a laugh at me."So am i. I'm saving myself for Jimmy Page."
"Yeah, right. He's the biggest slut ever"
"Don't talk about God like that."

Not what i expected at all. I don't know why but it felt like a Skins episode, which it's not a good sign. Weirdly, this is the first time i read a australian young adult book that i didn't like. There were some enjoyable elements to it. For example, Clover's mom "weirdness" and Phillip "Keek" himself was such a cutie
Oct 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I remember reading a review once that used the phrase 'a dance along piece'. Those words kept popping into my head upon reading this book, dancing along with Clover and Keek. A delightful cheekiness weaves through the writing and it left me with a lightness of heart. ...more
Mar 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: won
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't put it down. It's immersive and sensitive. It's about teenagers learning how to express big emotions, learning that their parents are in fact only human and learning where they fit in. It could easily have slipped into cheesy happy ending high school drama but it doesn't one bit. It's brilliant. ...more
Sep 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: aussie, young-adult
This book had great characters and great potential, but the plot didn't deliver as well as it could have, which made it a little boring at times. ...more
Jun 01, 2015 rated it liked it
All reviews can be found at:

Clare Strahan is an Australian author and a graduate of RMIT’s Professional Writing and Editing program. She is a freelance editor, creator of the ‘Literary Rats’ cartoon and has been published in Overland magazine, where she also curated their first fiction anthology. ‘Cracked’ is her debut novel.

‘Cracked’ is a compelling, realistic novel that captures the angst and complexities of the teenage experience. Clover is fifteen and she’s not sure wh
Bruce Gargoyle
3.5 stars

Ten Second Synopsis:
Clover tries to make sense of friendship, boy and family weirdness issues while attempting to save the environment through artistic expression.

Overall, this is an enjoyable and engaging read that comes together in the end. Considered in parts however, the plot ranges all over the place, and I didn't get the sense that all the places it ranged to added to the book in a meaningful way.

The thing that most kept this from being a stellar story, in my opinion, was the fac
Carolyn Gilpin
Mar 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another long term read that got interrupted by many other 'need to finish because...' books (for bookclubs, launches, etc), but it was worth the read.

Cracked is one of those books that you warm to - I find it hard to describe because at first I thought it was a much younger read, as Clover (the mc) felt that way, despite getting sent to the principal within the first five pages for telling her teacher where to go. I warmed to her, despite her name, which I just couldn't get used to, and followed
Feb 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
Finally finished this book! Started in February and finished in July, for a relatively short book it just took me a while to get through mostly cause I did not as an American realize it was "Aussie lit". This was an impulse buy off the Barnes and Noble website's suggested books column that I downloaded on a whim in the midst of a book haul. Despite the setting and lingo which I really did not understand at certain points and kind of gave up on trying to get everything halfway through, I did actu ...more
Amanda Witt
A good book for teens, told from the point of view of a 15 year old girl who thinks her mother is strange, but then she realises that other classmates' families are strange in their own ways.

Towards the end she goes into vandalism and graffiti, with protesting the development of a local creek and nature reserve, and we see the view of someone who's lost interest in school and feels she doesn't belong there.
Oct 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved this Aussie YA novel, detailing Clovers struggles with life as a fifteen year old in today's society....the ending wasn't as good as it could have been , however, would still recommend & look forward to reading more of Clare's books ...more
ana's ghost
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-books
I really enjoyed this book. I have no idea what else to say as I finished this book ages ago before now I just haven't gone on goodreads for ages but I can at least say I thoroughly enjoyed and related to the main character in some ways. ...more
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Clare Strahan is a Melbourne writer who once banged out a novel on a manual typewriter by candlelight. She is also a drama tutor with a passion for Shakespeare, a graduate of RMIT's Professional Writing & Editing, a writer of fiction and poetry for humans of all ages and has published in Overland, where she curated their first fiction anthology and volunteers as a contributing editor. She is a fre ...more

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