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3.71  ·  Rating details ·  688 ratings  ·  76 reviews
The turnkey pushed Hannah into the cell, and clanged the door shut behind her. Hannah’s eyes stung and she felt a heavy churning in her belly. The smell of urine, vomit, sweat and rotting flesh was overpowering, and she broke out in a hot, prickly sweat, despite the icy night.

1814, London Town. Hannah Cheshire - wealthy and spoiled - has fallen from grace. Punishment: tran
Paperback, 377 pages
Published 2009 by Catnip Books (first published August 1st 2007)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
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 ·  688 ratings  ·  76 reviews

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Dear publisher(s), are you sure you had checked the spelling of the final version thoroughly before handing it over to the printers? I am pretty convinced the historical young adult novel about a nineteenth century high society girl being shipped from London to New South Wales as a convicted thief of her own jewellery had been meant to bear the title Scatterbrain instead of Scatterheart. Certainly, Hannah Cheshire is a bit fickle, too, as far as her ability to fall in love, recognise love and gi ...more
Nov 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Wow, this book was nothing like I expected, yet I loved it. Judging from the cover and the name, I assumed it was a YA fantasy novel. Even the back gives you the idea that it's going to be fantasy, but in fact it is more historical/ naive romance. But don't let that put you off! What I found in these pages was a beautiful story, filled with ugly characters and situations that make you grow to love the main character, Hannah, even more. She struggles through such a fall, but never loses the essen ...more
I thought the premise of this book was wonderful - linking the fairy tale "East of the Sun, West of the Moon" with the historical story of a girl convicted of theft in 19th century London and transported to New South Wales. The problem I had with it as an enjoyable read was that the protagonist is so naive for so much of the book, and - although it's understandable given her upbringing - a snob and a half, too. That just makes for tough reading, or rather, it makes for a different kind of tough ...more
Jul 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Hannah Cheshire is a young lady of Quality living in London, and the daughter of a Gentleman. Arthur Cheshire is an important businessman, and wants only the best for his daughter. Hannah is used to having the best, fine dresses and jewellery, food and servants. Hannah has grown up with no mother and, apart from her father, has no one else in her life besides her tutor.

Thomas Behr has filled Hannah's head with history, poetry, and mathematics as well as languages, animals and stories; much to Ar
Vee_Bookish // YA Book Blogger
When I first saw this book, I knew I had to read it, just from seeing the cover alone. I wasn't disappointed - this extraordinary historical tale with a fairytale feel to it blew me away. I finished this in a few hours as I couldn't stop reading.

Right from the start the book hooked me, by not letting me know how Hannah ended up in Newgate. Instead, it starts when Hannah is in Newgate, and starts to tell you how she ended up there, which was a great way to grab my attention and made me want to re
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have recently been re-reading books on my shelf from when I was younger. Books I liked when I was 13/14, such as the Fault in Our Stars and Fangirl, I could barely continue after a few pages, however this book, which I first read when I was maybe 10/11, I keenly read all the way to the end.

The writing style of Scatterheart is about as remarkable as any another YA book. However, the creation and development of all the characters, Hannah, Long Meg, Thomas, and James are complex, well crafted, a
Oct 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
A very unusual offering, with all the feel of a first novel, Scatterheart is a very different journey.

Dealing primarily with the history and experience of those on the prison ships travelling to Australia, Wilkinson does tie in a personal story which is, if not always compelling, definitely enough to get you to the finish.

A worthwhile read for anyone who didn't quite realise how interesting Australian history was until they read about it. So there's a moebius style recommendation for you...
Apr 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
It was such a fantastic story but the reason I didn't give it 5 stars was because of how disturbing it is. Only read it if you can cope with reading about abuse, sexual assault, mistreatment and other disturbing elements in expliicit detail. Otherwise, a truly excellent book!
June Schwarz
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Magnificent! It gives me such encouragement to read a novel that is as rich and deep as this one - full of strange and terrible and brutal truths - as I am working on a story for the same target audience. So much better than o expected while reading the first chapter.
Julie Bozza
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Julie by: Sarah Dollard
A darned good yarn! I enjoy stories in which the power of stories are acknowledged by the characters.
Average. Slow moving with not a lot happening and what felt like shallow characters and a lot of doom and misery.
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, favorites
more like 4.5
Kerrie Owen
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Cute. Easy read. I was expecting fantasy and found a teen historical romance. Not my favourite genre, but the smattering of Australian history made it work.
Emm Edwards
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I found this book again over 10 years after first reading it (thanks to a group here on Goodreads) and it was just as good as I remembered 😊
Jun 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
I originally reviewed this book on my blog - The Cosy Dragon. For more recent reviews by me, please hop over there.

Hannah is Quality. She is one of the born aristocrats of London, but her father leaves her behind. A series of misunderstandings later and Hannah finds herself on a ship to Australia. Hannah has always been selfish, but the long trip and the factories afterwards open her eyes to enjoying what she actually has.

Hannah develops beautifully as a character, and it is obvious that lots of
Lalaine *myficbookreviews*
Mar 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was Outstanding. Couldnt put it down till the end, there were never a time that i got bored. the story was impressively written by the author,LW. A YA novel with a combination of Romance, Historical, and suspense. I myself recently moved in Australia and hardly knew of its history. The story was set in Old London, where convicts either get hanged or transported in the place called New South Wales which i believe is here in Australia (east o'f the sun and west o' the moon). the author s ...more
Scatterheart by Lili Wilkinson begins in London in 1814. The main character, Hannah Cheshire is a fifteen year old girl and an only child. She lives with her father and believes that they are a wealthy family. Even though Hannah has a tutor, Thomas Behr, she is quite naive when it comes to the world and her father has spoilt her. After a series of events, Hannah is arrested and sent to prison. Soon she and 200 other women are boarded onto a convict ship and they are on their way to Sydney, Austr ...more
Dec 20, 2013 rated it liked it
I, like many others, was first attracted to this book by the cover. I love the whimsical look and decided that the book would be worth a go. I know that you should not judge a book by its cover but sometimes you should! I am in Australia and had to order this book from the UK to read it but I’m glad I did.

The story follows Hannah, a spoiled rich girl whose life is turned upside down when, her money suddenly gone, she is sent on a convict ship to Australia. There is a lot of the book dedicated to
Jul 26, 2013 rated it liked it
I loved this. It will definitely not be everyone's cup of tea but I thought it was beautiful. Magic and fairytale woven into a wonderdul plot with realistic characters.

Hannah's character grows and matures so much; THIS is what it means to have character development!! Not to mention all the characters Hannah meets throughout the novel; they have to be one of the most surprising set of characters in a novel I've read. Those I began hating I eventually loved with all my heart.

Lucy Ramsdale
Jun 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Historical, realistic, fairytale, disturbing all at once.
This is such an incredible, unique, amazingly written story. It's 1814 and a 14 year old London girl of 'Quality' is wrongly accused of a crime and is sent to Australia as a convict. It doesn't skimp on the details or sugar coat anything. Hannah and the other convicts go through so much and I felt their pain, disappointment, sense of injustice and their moments of hope as I was reading. There were times when I was on the verge of tears ple
Sep 24, 2012 rated it really liked it

Highly enjoyable historical fiction about a young naive girl, abandoned by Dad who has squandered the family fortune, leaving her alone and penniless. Accused of theft, albeit falsely, she is locked in a London jail and eventually deported to Van Deiman's Land as a convict. The novel follows her journey across the oceans and into Sydney as she searches for the one person from her previous life that she has left and whom she cares about: her ex tutor.

Somehow this novel, although young adult fi
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This was the first ever book I read in one day and it transported me to another world, even though essentially that world was the same country I was living in. I didn't think much of historical fiction or Australian history until this book, yet I am now writing my honours thesis on both. While this book does conform to some of the text book "what it was like" historical fiction which can be tiresome, the overarching plot shaped by Hannah's character development was truly wonderful to read. I was ...more
Kay Kay
Jul 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
its been a while since i've read this one but im giving it five stars for staying with me so long...i think partly why i love it so much isnt just because of the Australian history element but because this is a book that doesnt need some dramatic love story to make me love the protagonist...although when you think about it everything she does is for love...but Hannah is a character thats so strong and who gives you such hope that even though its been ages since i've read it i still remember thos ...more
Sandra Schwarz
Jan 13, 2011 rated it liked it
The book was a bit of a disappointment. The story of a rich, spoilt girl who is thrown into real life due to a misunderstanding sounded promising. However the whole book has the feel of a delirium moving from one disaster to another. The author touches a lot of very interesting topics but doesn't go into their depth which is a pity. The whole story is more like a airy fairy tale. It feels like something is missing. I was left wanting more.... Still the story is intriguing and I guess the deficie ...more
i am the toothfairy
Jul 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
i finished it within the day so i guess it must have been good. lol only joking. the character i love is meg and was distrort whenn some thing happened. wont mention what for people about to read it. but i recommend it anyway and note to people about to that you should be mature and interested as somethings might scare you. i loved thomas and james was an interesting character. keep in mind the beginning and pelase comment on what you think ocne you've read it.
A historical novel for young adults that made me feel like a teenager again, because it made me remember one of my favorite books when I was younger, Abby Lynn by Rainer M. Schröder. Scatterheart, too, is a story about a young woman who due to various circumstances suddenly finds herself on the way to Australia, and it's a very unpleasant journey. It's a good book, and really engrossing - I finished it pretty much in one go on one afternoon.
Annabelle Amber
Sep 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
It has inspired me and I want to write a book like this! (but not copying any of the stuff in here, that would be awful)
It's one of those books where you don't want to be the main character, but you want to know them, be involved in some way so the loneliness ache inside and the feeling of, 'MY LIFE IS WORTHLESS BECAUSE OF ME NOT BEING IN THIS BOOK!!!' goes away and you feel happy.
-Annabelly :)
Scatterheart is a magical book. But i wouldn't recommend reading this over breakfast. It put me off both.

Hannah is obsessed with a white bear. Maybe she finds him and maybe she doesn't, either was a good read. Well worth the four stars.

Because i love ships, and even better, books about ships, this book really done it for me. A few gory bits, some blood, deaths. It's all there really. Along with romance it has made my week. Good job we're only on Monday...

vw xD

Jun 29, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hated this book so much that I was compelled to throw it straight in the bin. Instead, I donated it to a library so that someone else could feel the strong rage that this book evokes. There's something about the protagonist and her continuous naivety that drove me mad. She was too dumb to be realistic and I couldn't put it down because each page brought her into an even worse situation.
If there was an option to rate it -10000 stars then I would.
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Lili Wilkinson was born in Melbourne, Australia, in the front room where her parents still live. She is an only child, and loves it. She was first published when she was 12, in Voiceworks Magazine. After studying Creative Arts at Melbourne University, Lili was employed by the Centre for Youth Literature at the State Library of Victoria, where she manages, a highly acclaimed all-a ...more

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