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Because of You

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  206 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Tiny is homeless. Nola has everything she could ask for. They meet when Nola is forced into volunteer work for the writers’ group at the homeless shelter where Tiny is staying, and at first it seems impossible that two people who are so different could ever be friends. But despite her initial prejudice, Nola quickly learns that there isn’t much separating her from the peop ...more
Paperback, 252 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by UQP Books (first published July 31st 2017)
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Wow ~ Pip Harry's latest novel Because of You felt real and, by the end, it took my breath away. I read because I love being transported into another time and place, into another persons shoes, and I love being pulled into and swept up into a story. But occasionally, a book will come along that ends up being more than just a good entertaining read, and it leaves me feeling moved. Because of You is one of those books that resonates long after the last page and has transformative power to challeng ...more
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loveozya, uqp, bookgasm
The #loveOzYA book of the year.

Seventeen year old Lola Piper is an intelligent young woman, attractive, wealthy and privileged. As a curricular activity required by her prestigious Sydney college, Lola has reluctantly volunteered to assist at Hope House, a shelter for the homeless community that offers activities for residents, sharing their stories through creativity. Lola is the offspring of two wonderful parents, coparenting friends. Both Lola's mother and father are gay, her father a nurtur
Trigger warnings: mental health, death of a friend, addiction, homelessness, references to homophobia, references to thoughts of suicide.

Holy hell, this book blew me away.

I was somewhat reluctant going in, because a) the cover is incredibly dull and b) it sounded a bit...teenage-girl-discovers-homeless-people-are-people-too. You know? And then I started reading it, and I was absolutely blown away.

The story is split between two teenage girls - 17 year old Nola, who's in her last year at an elit
Paula Weston
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My first tears came on page 98. They weren’t the last.
Pip Harry has a gift for bringing to life vivid, believable characters I care deeply about. It’s obvious the topic of homelessness, particularly in inner-city Sydney, is very close to her heart. Her empathy for people who are homeless - and the myriad of reasons that push them to the streets - is palpable.
There’s no romanticism about living rough, though. Pip captures the anxiety that comes with not knowing where you'll sleep each night, if t
Emily Mead
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
Absolutely adored this one. Told from alternating points of view of a homeless girl, Tiny, and Nola, who volunteers at Hope Lane, it's very eye-opening. We shouldn't have to humanise people who are homeless, but Pip Harry does it in the most wonderful way possible: through the power of stories.
‘You think books will save him?’ I say, pointing at Ike.

‘Books can save anyone. If they’re the right ones.’

Heartbreaking, emotionally nuanced and gorgeously written, this hidden gem of a story is an absolute delight.

Set against a harsh and unforgiving backdrop of the Sydney streets, ‘Because of You’ is a beautifully written and quietly thoughtful coming-of-age contemporary that is ultimately about the unwavering resilience of the human spirit and the power of friendship. Told from alternating
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
such a good read. powerful, with strong characters and intense storyline. Gave me all the feels, and finished with a sense of joy and hope.
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Pip Harry <3
Tanya Grech Welden
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Every year at the school I teach at, year 11 students are required to undertake 15 hours of Christian Service as part of their Religion Studies course. It is easier extracting blood from a stone. Not quite, but for many students, getting them engaged in an activity determined take them out of their comfort zone is a massive challenge. Even those who are compliant with the program tend to lean towards selecting activities where there is a certain predictable safety. Of course, those few students ...more
Kim Miller
The sweet cover of this novel belies the seriousness of its themes. This is the first of the #CBCA2018 novel's I've read, and at 4.5 stars it's hard to imagine anything beating it to the winner's post. The characters are easy to identify with and although this is a novel about youth homelessness, drugs, teenage pregnancy, postnatal depression and LGBTQI+ issues, it is, at the heart of it, a novel about love and friendship that will appeal to both male and female young adult readers. It's a sweet ...more
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
it was so amazing and i loved reading it from the second i opened it
Aug 25, 2018 rated it did not like it
My sister wanted me to read this after she did because she was confused about a lot of things and thought I would be able to explain them to her.

What I liked:
• All the stuff about the power of books and writing - made me think of my own writers club and how much I appreciate them
• Some much-needed criticism of how ridiculous the culture around high school balls/proms/formals etc can be
• A reference to MAMILs (Middle Aged Men In Lycra)
• Portrayal of anxiety and depression was fine IMO

What I didn
Sandra Shannon
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this contemporary novel. Centred around a homeless shelter in Sydney. Thought provoking.
Gaby Meares
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautiful story set in Sydney, dealing with homelessness with compassion and empathy. "Because of You" never preaches, but instead draws you into Tiny's world, and shows the reader how easy it is to slip into homelessness and helplessness. Harry never moralizes. Unlike other stories that deal with similar issues, "Because of You" is not a dark read, it is in fact an illuminating story, with a light touch that leaves the reader feeling positive and enlightened.
I highly recommend this book to rea
Jaz Bird
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: australia
Very good, underrated book. Read it over a night and a day.
Rob De
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing story ! Written in alternating chapters we learn of the lives of Tiny and Nola. Tiny is a street kid and Nola is from a well to do family. Their paths cross when Nola is forced to do volunteer work to be able to pass her HSC and she gets pushed to help out at the Hope street Refuge. At first she can't even bear to be touched by these people but as she starts making connections, particularly with Tiny, her attitude gradually changes. We learn that everybody has a story, a right to ...more
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Review to come upon release
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Books can save anyone. If they're the right ones."
Pip Harry has kicked all the goals with this realist YA novel that expertly balances the serious themes of homelessness, mental illness and addiction with the still real struggles of adolescents growing up in a world that demands academic success and expects conformity and perfection. Through the twin female protagonists of Nola and Tiny, Harry evokes a world that is real and relatable, in a way that I think many teenage girls would seriously a
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
• Teen Pregnancy • Year 12 - friendship struggles, HSC • Homelessness • Housing Commission • LGBTQI community •
I’m at a loss for words...
You have Nola, an everyday girl from the inner city suburbs who has a perception of the homeless within Sydney (dirty, et cetera).
And then you have Tiny, a homeless 18 year old trying to survive and able to find residence at Hope Lane.
Both females change each other’s perception of the world and break barriers thus allowing Pip Harry to narrate them to be of equ
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ozya, ordered-library
I think that 'caring about the homeless' is something that many people feel like they should do, but it's hard to actually summon up the empathy sometime when it's such an ongoing problem and there are so many other horrible things happening in the world.

This book is super necessary because it does a fantastic job of showing what life is really like living on the streets, and about the services that are around for those people. I think the book does a good job of showing that some of these peop
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lovely novel about finding friendship and love in the most unexpected of places.

Nola has grown up sheltered and missing nothing: not a roof over her head, not food, not her parents. Still she's only human, and she struggles to find out who she really is and how truthful she can be with others. Nola's character grows up a lot during the book, which is something that I loved.

Tiny had a normal life, until one day something happened that turned her world upside down. Now she's in shelters, or liv
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is incredibly well written, and gives insight into a community that too many of us do our best to ignore. I live near Melbourne, a city with a large population of homeless people and not a lot of sympathy towards them. I’ve seen too many ledges with spikes on them, too many black suited business men and women hurry past someone asking for spare change, too many people sleeping rough in ‘the most liveable city in the world’. I’m guilty of walking past too. Being a young woman alone in t ...more
Jodie Warner
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-ya-books
I feel that this would have been a much worthier winner of the CBCA book. Shame it didn’t pull the prize. This is the story of Nola, completing her HSC in Sydney and having to complete 20 hours of volunteering as part of her school’s community service program. Reluctantly she signs on at Hope Lane, a temporary housing service for the homeless, as part of their writing group.

She forges a strong friendship with Tiny, an 18yo girl who’s been homeless for about a year and who is escaping her own dem
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was an excellent read, and sure to be a hit. Both Nola and Tiny were engaging characters. I liked Sydney as the backdrop and the exploration of homlessness. I did feel like I was being lectured at in a few parts, mostly when Aimee and Eddie were explaining everything to Nola (eh hem, the reader) about the issues that homeless people face. It could have had less dialogue and let the reader see it for themselves. The whole year 12 formal fight with Nola's friends was pretty cliche, I know it ...more
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Really enjoyed this book, 248 pages was easy to get through. Beautifully told story of friendship, homelessness, and mental health. Tiny's story was just heartbreaking, living on the streets of Sydney so comes to Hope lane with her friend Zac who takes her under his wing. She meets Nola and they form a friendship, its a coming of age story, there will be tears so bring the tissues. There is a lot in this small book - Homelessness, equality, mental health, suicidal thoughts, friendship and empath ...more
Tina Jameson
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Have to be honest - only picked this up as it is one of this years CBCA shortlist titles (cover did not inspire me) - but am so glad I did. Written from two points of view - Nola, a reluctant high school student with her own selfish but typical teenage girl concerns, and Tiny, a girl living the tough life of a homeless and hopeless person. The characters feel 'real' and the subtle and empathetic portrayal of these girls navigating their personal issues, seperately and then together, completely a ...more
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I love all of Pip Harry's books but I suspect this one is my favourite... it is chock full of amazing characters and a story of humanity and hope that brought tears to my eyes many times. It also really makes you think: that saying about how you're one paycheck away from poverty is true at different times for many of us and what's on the other side? Most of us don't know that world, don't want to know it, fear it... but Pip's characters give us a glimpse into what happens when things in your lif ...more
Wai Chim
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an incredible novel by an incredible author. Pip Harry has crafted real, honest and beautifully flawed and resilient characters that will capture your heart. Their stories feel raw and real - a tender and masterful depiction of what it means to be human, taking in the good, the bad and everything else that comes with it. A very important work, full of love and empathy - Because of You is the story that we all need right now.
Kate Atkinson
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
The stories which emerge from the Hope Lane Writing Group based out of a Sydney homeless shelter are full of pain, self-realisation, and hope. This CBCA shortlisted (2018) novel was a joy to read. The worlds of comfortably middle-class Nola, and homeless Tiny, collide around beautiful and raw poems and reflections. Tackling the big issues, mental health, substance abuse, rough living, 'Because of You' was a wonderful addition to Oz YA.
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Pip Harry is the author of YA novels I'll Tell You Mine, Head of the River and Because of You. Pip has worked as an editor on women's magazines including Woman's Day, TV Week, New Idea and NW as well as copywriting for NGOs and corporate organisations. She currently lives in Singapore with her family and her favourite things to do are swim laps (really), brunch, unravel on a yoga mat and read good ...more
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